Oral Cancer Screening Fair Oaks, CA
Oral cancer screenings can identify the signs of disease before it has spread. This may be beneficial to those in high-risk groups. Regular oral cancer screenings can give patients the advantage of treating cancer in the early stages when there is a higher chance for remission.
Oral cancer screenings are available at Dr. Eric J. Steinbrecher, DDS in Fair Oaks and the surrounding area. Early detection may make cancer treatment more effective. Call us at (916) 236-4310 to schedule an appointment today.
Why Have Regular Oral Cancer Screenings?
Regular oral cancer screenings can be as important as regular dental checkups. Fortunately, patients can ask to get both procedures done at the same time. As per the National Cancer Institute, oral cancer symptoms tend not to appear until the disease has spread. Early detection may make oral cancer easier to treat when the chances for remission are higher.
According to WebMD, everyone should have a dental checkup at least once a year. However, experts have yet to reach a consensus on how often patients should go in for an oral cancer screening. A dentist may be able to conduct a comprehensive exam to determine how frequently a patient should have screenings.
“Early detection may make oral cancer easier to treat when the chances for remission are higher.”
Groups at High Risk for Oral Cancer
Certain groups may benefit from regular oral cancer screenings more than others. Common risk factors include but are not limited to:
- A history of oral cancer
- Certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Regular consumption of a lot of alcohol
- Excessive amounts of time spent in the sun
- Tobacco use, in any form
Patients may find it beneficial to consult a professional about their medical history to better determine their risk for oral cancer.
“Some groups may benefit from regular oral cancer screenings more than others.”
Limitations of Oral Cancer Screenings
Although regular oral cancer screenings are integral to maintaining good health, Mayo Clinic points out that it may be difficult to detect abnormal cells through a simple visual exam. Thus, there is always a possibility that a small sign of cancer or precancerous lesion could go undetected.
A group of unusual cells does not always mean that the patient has cancer. Rather, the patient will have to undergo a biopsy to get a definitive answer. If it is cancerous, then early detection will afford the patient more treatment options.
While the evidence does not yet link screenings with reduced oral cancer deaths, regular screenings may help identify cancers early at a time when remission is more likely.
“While the evidence does not yet link screenings with reduced oral cancer deaths, regular screenings may help identify cancers early at a time when remission is more likely.”
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer Screening in Fair Oaks, CA
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening requires no special preparation, and patients can typically expect screening to take place during a routine dental appointment. In most cases, a basic oral cancer screening will consist of the dentist taking a thorough look at all the parts of the patient's mouth, including:
- The back of the throat
- The gums
- The insides of the cheeks
- The outside and the inside of the lips
- The roof of the mouth
- The tongue
Patients with dentures must remove the devices to allow Dr. Eric J. Steinbrecher, DDS to check the tissue underneath, along with the area underneath the jaw.
All in all, the screening should take less than five minutes.
“There is no special preparation required for an oral cancer screening, and patients can typically expect screening to take place during a routine dental appointment.”
Questions Answered on This Page
Q. How frequently should I get an oral cancer screening?
Q. Am I at high risk for developing oral cancer?
Q. What are the limits of oral cancer screenings?
Q. What can I expect during my oral cancer screening?
Q. Are there any additional tests after oral cancer screenings?
People Also Ask
Additional Tests After Oral Cancer Screenings
Depending on the patient's situation, the dentist may perform special tests in addition to the basic screening. More in-depth oral cancer screenings can involve the patient rinsing their mouth with blue dye to make any unusual cells more visible. Additionally, the dentist may choose to shine a light in the patient's mouth during the exam. This light will "highlight" abnormal tissue by making it appear white.
If any of these tests find signs of oral cancer or any possibly cancerous lesions, then the patient should undergo a biopsy. This procedure consists of removing a sample of cells for laboratory testing. The patient may also need to make a follow-up appointment to see if the abnormal area has grown or changed since detection.
“Depending on the patient’s situation, the dentist may perform special tests in addition to the basic screening.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do oral cancer screenings hurt?
A. There is little to no discomfort involved with oral cancer screenings. However, this may not be the case in treating advanced oral cancer.
Q. What are the warning signs of oral cancer?
A. In addition to possessing certain risk factors, patients should see a dentist immediately if they notice the following:
- Changes in denture fit
- Difficulty or discomfort swallowing
- Diminished ability to perform normal oral functions (such as chewing, opening jaw, swallowing)
- Mouth sores or ulcers, especially if they bleed easily or do not heal
- Pain and tenderness in teeth or gums
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Unexplained lump in the neck, throat, or floor of the mouth
- Unexplained swelling or fullness in the neck
- Visible changes in the mouth tissue
Q. Which parts of the body can be affected by oral cancer?
A. Any part of the mouth can be affected by oral cancer. There are two categories of oral cancer: those that affect the oral cavity (lips, teeth, gums, front two-thirds of the tongue, floor and roof of the mouth, and inside of the lips and cheeks) and those that affect the oropharynx (middle region of the throat, including tonsils and the base of the tongue).
Q. How can I decrease my chances of getting oral cancer?
A. As of yet, there are no proven ways of completely preventing oral cancer. However, a general healthful lifestyle may help minimize your chances. Reducing your alcohol consumption, along with stopping or avoiding any tobacco use, may prevent exposing the cells in the mouth to any dangerous chemicals. Keeping an everyday sun protection regimen that involves putting sunscreen on your lips can also help, as can regular dental checkups.
Q. What are the stages of oral cancer?
A. There are four stages of oral cancer. In stage 1 oral cancer, the tumor is at or under 2 centimeters in size, and the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. In stage 2 oral cancer, the tumor is at or under 4 centimeters in size, and the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. In stage 3 oral cancer, the tumor could be larger than 4 centimeters but not spread to the lymph nodes. Alternatively, the tumor has spread to one lymph node but not any other parts of the body. In stage 4 oral cancer, the tumor can be any size, and the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Oral cancer screenings can catch "stage 0" cancer when cells have yet to become cancerous. Cancers caught in the earliest stages have the highest five-year survival rates.
- A biopsy is a medical test that a medical professional uses to extract a sample of tissue to determine the exact cause of a disease.
- Dental Prophylaxis
- A dental prophylaxis is a thorough cleaning procedure that involves preventing the spread or continued growth of periodontal disease and gingivitis.
- Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue that results from plaque, other infections in the mouth and poor oral hygiene.
- Oral Mucosa
- The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane that lines the inside of the mouth consisting of oral epithelium and lamina propria.
- Precancerous Lesions
- Precancerous lesions are morphologically altered tissue that has a high probability of causing oral cancer to occur in those specific spots.
Learn More Today
Regular oral cancer screenings may help stop the disease before it has the chance to spread. At Dr. Eric J. Steinbrecher, DDS, we can help figure out the best preventative care plan for you. Call us at 916-236-4310 to schedule an appointment today.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms. 2022
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2022
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2022
About our business, license, and website security
- Dr. Eric J. Steinbrecher, DDS was established in 2007.
- We accept the following payment methods: American Express, Cash, Check, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa
- We serve patients from the following counties: Sacramento County
- We serve patients from the following cities: Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights, Carmichael, Nimbus, and Folsom
- CA (License #55306). View License Information and Specifics
- National Provider Identifier Database (1396806394). View NPI Registry Information
- Healthgrades. View Background Information and Reviews
- Norton Safe Web. View Details
- Trend Micro Site Safety Center. View Details
Back to top of Oral Cancer Screening
General Dentistry: What Mouthwashes Are Recommended
General dentistry focuses on keeping your mouth healthy, preventing oral problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are the foundation of good oral hygiene. A quality mouthwash provides an additional layer of protection.Oral bacteria cause most of the problems that develop in your mouth. Tooth decay is caused…
Why General Dentistry Can Prevent Future Dental Issues
Regular general dentistry visits can help maintain your dental health. This can apply to your family as well. Spotting dental issues early can improve your dental health. If you want to know why general dentistry can ward off future dental problems, here are the details.Preventive general dentistry starts at an early age. Bringing a child…
General Dentistry: Common Treatments For Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be connected to many different health-related issues, but did you know it can also create long-term problems in general dentistry? Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be triggered by both temporary and permanent factors.Whether it is linked to medication, age, radiation therapy, or a condition with your salivary glands, it can…
General Dentistry: How Can I Have Healthier Gums?
Curious about what general dentistry professionals recommend for healthier gums? Read on to find out. Your gums support your teeth. If the gums and underlying jawbone are weakened, then teeth are vulnerable to becoming lost if left untreated for an extended amount of time. The good news is that you can have healthier gums through…
Explore additional topics covered on our website:
Call Us Today
Scan here to call Dr. Eric J. Steinbrecher, DDS on mobile