If there was a quick and painless method to identify pre-cancerous cells in the mouth of someone you loved, would you want them to try it? What if that person were you? The truth is, as uncomfortable as it may be to even think of the word Cancer, detecting it early is certainly the key to eradicating it. At Premier Dental it’s part of our mission to provide the best diagnostic tools available to our patients. That’s why we’re proud to utilize a tool that, when combined with your regular oral exam, can assist in detecting oral abnormalities that cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is called OralID.
This revolutionary diagnostic tool works by emitting a safe blue light into the oral cavity that “excites” the tissues in your mouth causing them to give off a fluorescent glow under the light. Under the light, healthy tissues appear as a bright green, while suspicious regions exhibit no color at all – helping in the visualization of early oral abnormalities.
When used in conjunction with your normal exam, OralID is extremely helpful because it can detect abnormalities from the surface through to the basement membrane (where premalignant changes typically begin), and into the connective tissue – areas where the eye simply cannot see. The entire exam takes about two minutes.
Oral cancer screenings are recommended annually for all adults aged 18 and older, and every six months if you are a smoker, regular user of alcohol, or if you chew tobacco.
As your dental health care team, we want to help you be on the lookout for symptoms of abnormal conditions in your mouth. One of the most serious problems we ever encounter is oral cancer, which affects about 37,000 Americans every year. It is a particularly dangerous form of cancer because it may produce very little discomfort in its beginning stages and go undiagnosed for a long time.
What should I be looking out for?
•A sore or lesion in the mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
•A lump or thinkening in the cheek
•A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
•A persistent sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
•Difficulty chewing, swallowing, moving jaw or tongue
•Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
•Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
What Should I do if I Have One of the Above Symptoms?
These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, but the also indicate the possible presence of oral cancer. Please contact our office immediately to have the doctor examine you.
If you haven’t had your periodic cleaning and examination in over six months, please schedule your appointment today! We’ll be happy to perform an oral cancer screening as part of your visit.