Oral Cancer Screenings in El Paso, Texas
Oral diseases and other problems can sometimes be more troublesome than issues in other areas of the body because they do not present obvious symptoms. One example is oral cancer, which may not be noticed until it has reached a more advanced stage, though it is easier to treat when detected early. This is why oral cancer screenings are important to your oral health – they allow your dentists in El Paso, TX, Walter L. Tippin DDS , Paul Apilado DDS, Inc to find oral cancer in its early stages to get it treated and return you to health.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is an exam of the oral cavity and connected tissues to search for signs of oral cancer. It consists of a visual part and physical part and can lead to early treatment if any problems are detected. It is usually performed as part of a routine exam if your dentist knows about certain lifestyle choices (such as chewing tobacco) or if you request it as a precautionary measure (for example, if you have a family history of cancer).
During the visual exam, your dentist will look for asymmetries, swellings, bumps, patches of color, ulcerations, or other abnormalities in the face, neck, lips, inside of the nose, and oral cavity. Any removable dental appliances that are usually worn will need to be removed in order to expose every area of the mouth for examination. Tools such as a light, mirror, and tongue depressor will be used to give your dentist a good look at your gums, inner cheeks, the roof of the mouth, tonsils, throat, and underneath the tongue.
In addition to a thorough inspection of the mouth and face, your dentist will also feel the head and cheeks, around the jaw, under the chin, and in the oral cavity for unusual nodules or masses. Areas of discomfort will also be sought out.
If nothing is found during your oral cancer screening, you may be recommended to return at regular intervals for future screenings if your dentist feels that you have a higher risk for oral cancer. Dr. Apilado in El Paso, TX, is dedicated to finding and treating oral problems to restore your oral health.