Along with being experts at dental care, dentists can also spot other health conditions when they examine your mouth. Medical issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, oral and throat cancer are often notable in the soft tissues of the mouth.
During their patients’ bi-annual dental exams, our dentists at Union Ave Dental in Pueblo, Colorado will do oral cancer screenings.
While your dentist looks at your teeth, they also observe the condition of the cheeks, tongue, and gums. When they are screening for oral cancer, they will look for white or red sores in the mouth, which is one of the first symptoms that can indicate cancer.
Then he or she will use their gloved fingers and run them along the inside of the cheeks, lips, and under the tongue looking for hard lumps. If they find a suspicious lump, then the dentist may do a biopsy to test it for cancer.
Our dentist at Union Ave Dental will also examine the nose to look for abnormalities. Along with mouth sores and lumps, some of the other symptoms of oral cancer include:
Although some of these symptoms can have other causes, if the problems persist, then you need to bring the symptoms to the attention of one of our dentists near you in Pueblo, Colorado.
A dentist may use special tools that can help identify cancer during their screenings. An oral CDx is a special brush that removes cells to test them for cancer. The VELscope uses a blue light to identify suspicious tissues in the mouth. An Orascoptic DK is an acidic mouth rinse that helps our dentists at Union Ave Dental inspect any tissues that they find suspicious.
If one of our dentists does a biopsy and it is positive, then they will advise you to contact your primary physician right away, or they may recommend you to an oncologist near you in Pueblo, Colorado. If caught in its first stage, oral cancer is curable, which is why you must visit our dentists every six months.