A trusted and reliable dentist in Southampton, such as those at Smilemakers, are not only dedicated to a patient’s smile, but also to their overall oral health and well-being. This is why many dentists also offer oral cancer screening. Oral cancer can be life-threatening if it is not diagnosed and treated early by a dentist in Southampton.
A dentist will have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit a dentist in Southamptonto rule out the possibility of oral cancer.
The most common symptoms of oral cancer can include red or white spots or sores anywhere in the mouth, a sore that bleeds easily or does not heal or a feeling of pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.
As well as these symptoms, difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue can also be a sign that a patient should visit their dentist in Southampton for oral cancer screening.
A dentist will start with a visual examination of the mouth and then feel the tissue of the mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities. If they find an area of concern, they may perform a simple test, such as a brush test, which collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If this test comes back atypical or positive, a biopsy will likely be the next step.
Can Oral Cancer be Prevented?
Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during a regular check-up, there are things that can be done to help prevent oral cancer.
The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products, only drink alcohol in moderation and to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
It is also important to limit exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on the skin as well as the lips.
The most important thing to remember is that early detection of oral cancer through screening with a dentist in Southamptoncan improve the chance of successful treatment.