Oral Cancer Screening (From £85.00)
Early detection of oral cancer symptoms can spell the difference between good oral health and serious health complications, which may even lead to the worst case scenario – death.
Oral cancer screening by a Kent dentist is important to ensure that the patient’s dental health is taken care of, and to guarantee that any early signs of problems can be treated and prevented from getting worse.
What to Expect from Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening by the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic in Kent will be performed by doing a thorough oral examination. Any abnormal tissue growths or lesions will be scrutinised by the dentist to determine if additional diagnostic tests are needed to rule out the presence of cancer cells – or to verify if cancer is already present in the mouth area. Determining the absence of presence of oral cancer will be crucial in formulating a treatment plan that will either protect the patient from the development of cancer, or prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the patient’s anatomy.
The mouth can also be rinsed with a blue-coloured dye as part of the oral cancer screening procedure by the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic in Kent. Abnormal lesions or tissue growth will appear darker with the stain, and can indicate the presence of cancer cells.
A fluorescent mouth rinse may also be used in the oral screening process; a special light will be shined into the mouth after it has been rinsed with the fluorescent mixture, and abnormal tissue growth (which may or may not determine the presence of cancer cells) will be detected more easily.
A brush biopsy procedure can be used for oral cancer screening; this procedure involves the use of a special brush to obtain cells from the abnormal tissue growth or lesion inside the mouth. The cells from the lesion will then be checked under a microscope to determine if they are abnormal, so that the appropriate oral cancer treatment can be planned if necessary.
Exfoliative cytology is the process of collecting cells from inside the oral cavity, especially in areas where there are lesions or abnormal tissue growth. A brush, a small wooden stick, or a piece of cotton may be used to gently scrape off cells from the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat; the cells will then be examined with the use of a microscope by the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic in Kent to check if these cells are abnormal, and the corresponding oral cancer treatment can be given.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
- Smoking or tobacco use is found to be the leading cause of oral cancer. The carcinogens found in tobacco products greatly increase the risk of developing oral cancer – especially for individuals who smoke or use tobacco products on a regular basis.
- Oral cancer can also develop from excessive and constant exposure to the sun, sun lamps, or even sun beds.
- A person who consumes alcohol regularly and in an excessive manner will have a greater risk of developing oral cancer.
- Individuals who consume red meat on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, compared to people whose diets consist mostly of green, leafy vegetables and fruits.
- Those who have been exposed or infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) have a higher risk of developing oral cancer than those who have not been infected with HPV.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Early detection of oral cancer is crucial in its successful treatment, so it is best to be vigilant about the presence of the oral cancer symptoms and signs given below. It is important to seek the attention of the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic in Kent as soon as you notice the presence of any of these signs:
- Lesions or ulcers inside the mouth that do not heal or even improve, even if they have been present for a long period of time
- Lining of the mouth lining, or the skin surrounding the mouth and lip areas, that become thickened
- Red or white patches in the lining of the mouth, or on the tongue
- Pain or stiffness in the jaw area
- Unexplained bleeding inside the mouth
- Abnormal lumps inside the oral cavity
- Painful tongue area
- Swollen tissues or growth inside the mouth that do not heal after a few weeks
- Loose teeth without any obvious dental problems
- Persistent sore throat that does not heal after a few weeks, and even with the help of medications
- Pain experienced with swallowing
- A lump in the neck area, or neck pain