A focus on
MOUTH HEALTH AND ORAL CANCER
By Niki Fontaine, RDH
Greetings Readers. Catherine (Niki) Fontaine here again. I am so happy to see the beautiful sun shining and dare I say spring has sprung. This month, as it is all about our seniors, let us take a look at Mouth Health and Oral Cancer.
Oral cancer screening is an intra-oral examination performed by a dentist, registered dental hygienist, doctor, nurse practitioner or specialist to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure.
How often should you get oral cancer screening?
Everyone should see a dental health professional at least once a year to keep their mouths healthy and check for signs of oral cancer.
At The Polished Tooth Dental Hygiene Care, we do a comprehensive head and neck assessment and use the VELscope for our oral cancer screenings. It is a wireless, handheld scope that uses natural tissue fluorescence to enhance how clinicians visualize oral mucosal abnormalities, including oral cancer, that may not be apparent or even visible to the naked eye.
“The VELscope is most widely used adjunctive device for the enhanced visualization of oral mucosal abnormalities, such as oral cancer or pre-malignant dysplasia.”
At home, how can you check for oral cancer?Place your index finger on the inside of your cheek and your thumb on the outside. Gently squeeze and roll both sides of your cheeks between your fingers to check for any lumps or areas of tenderness. Please contact a professional if any areas of concern are noted.
What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?
Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:
A lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal.
A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth.
All of these symptoms should be looked into by a health professional to verify the root cause.
Do Not Delay! Visit Us Today at The Polished Tooth Dental Hygiene Care for your oral cancer screening and dental hygiene care preventive maintenance.