Oral Cancer Dentist in Clearwater
What is oral cancer?
Also called mouth cancer, oral cancer develops in the oral cavity. This includes all parts of your mouth that you can see if you open wide and look in the mirror, like your lips, tongue, cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth, and gums. Generally, cancerous lesions form when cells mutate. For instance, when gum cancer forms when gingival cells mutate.
When are oral cancer screenings recommended?
Although oral cancer is relatively rare, it’s essential to be diligent about your oral hygiene routine and visit our office for regular cleanups and checkups. With annual or bi-annual oral cancer screenings, we can identify any potential problems before they become significant issues.
Our Oral Cancer Screening Process: What to Expect
During your preventive care exam, your Clearwater dentist will examine your gums, tongue, and the rest of your mouth, looking for abnormalities like lesions, lumps, and discolorations. If we discover anything out of the ordinary, we’ll take a biopsy to send to a specialist for a comprehensive analysis.
Still, it’s essential to know that many oral imperfections, abnormalities, and flaws are not cancerous. So, please keep calm if one of our Clearwater dentists suggests a biopsy. Most of the time, we recommend a biopsy whenever there is a potential sign. However, a biopsy does not necessarily translate to having oral cancer. As with most situations in life, it’s always better to take precautions and proactive action when possible (especially when it comes to oral cancer).
Have questions about oral cancer screening in Clearwater, FL?
Check out these frequently asked questions about the screenings in Indian Rocks Beach, FL, Clearwater, or surrounding areas, or call us at (727) 304-3156 to speak with our team.
If your oral results are negative, then no further action is required. However, we recommend oral cancer screenings every 6 months for patients over 40. As we age, oral cancer screenings are vital, especially if you have an increased risk of developing the disease. Factors like HPV infection, a compromised immune system, and tobacco or alcohol use can increase the risk of developing oral cancer.
On the rare occasion that your oral exam results or biopsy are positive, the Beyond Dentistry Clearwater team will refer you to a reliable oncology (cancer) specialist to receive the care you need and (if possible) stop the spread of the disease.
Often, oral cancer is challenging to detect on your own until it has reached Stage II or IV. So, early detection through regular dentist checkups can ensure that you get the treatment that you need before it has the opportunity to spread throughout the body.
To start things off, we’ll perform a complete cleaning of your teeth and gums, using special tools to remove any plaque and tartar that may have built up along the gumline. Essential aspects of your cleaning will include thorough flossing between your teeth in all those hard-to-reach places, and scraping off plaque that has accumulated along the gum line. To finish the cleaning process, we’ll polish your teeth, leaving you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to smile.
Any Necessary X-Rays
If you’re new to the office or haven’t had dental x-rays in a while, your Clearwater dentist may recommend that you take some during your preventive care appointment. Dental x-rays let us see what’s going on beneath the surface of your smile, giving us the ability to find issues that may not be visible otherwise. With x-rays, we’re able to make more accurate diagnoses and create more effective and efficient treatment plans.
Your dentist will review your x-rays and then take a thorough look at your teeth, gums, and the rest of your mouth. If we spot any issues, we’ll take the time to educate you on our findings, so you can keep your dental health on the right track. We make it our goal to keep you educated about your oral well-being, so you can make the right decisions for your smile.
Personalized Treatment Plan
Using the information we’ve gathered with your exam and x-rays, we’ll work together with you to craft a treatment plan customized for your unique oral health needs, budget, and lifestyle. If everything looks good, we’ll simply schedule your next routine cleaning and checkup.