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Dental Cleaning and Dental Check Up

We offer expert screening for oral cancer

Oral cancer involves abnormal cell tissue growth in the mouth, tongue, lip, palate, gums or throat. 

Richmond Hill Dental Design  can screen patients to determine if they have oral cancer.


Diagnostic screening for oral cancer

Once you have discussed symptoms your dentist will check your mouth during a physical examination for swelling, lumps, red or pale patches. The full mouth is examined including lips, gums, inner cheeks, tongue, palate and throat and neck lymph nodes. If cancer is suspected, you will be informed. Further diagnostic testing will be necessary and you will be given an anaesthetic before a biopsy is taken for microscopic assessment. The biopsy of cell tissue will confirm if abnormal cancerous cell growth is present. The level of cancerous growth is determined by using endoscopic testing, X-ray or MRI scans.

Symptoms of oral cancer

If oral cancer is present symptoms may include pale white patches in the mouth or on the lips. There may be bright red marks present with the pale patches. Other symptoms include a wound or ulcer in the mouth or on the lips that will not heal or bleeding in the mouth. Pain when swallowing and bleeding in the mouth are also signs, as are lumps in the mouth, throat or neck. These symptoms usually persist after two weeks and should be checked or screened by a doctor or dental care professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Other dental conditions with similar symptoms

Other dental conditions can have similar symptoms, particularly if there is chafing in the mouth, such as that caused by dentures, metal braces or a mouth guard. Infections can also cause swelling and bleeding in the mouth unrelated to cancer. Having your symptoms checked through an oral cancer screening will enable you to receive early intervention, whether it is for another dental condition or cancer.

Causes of oral cancer

Risk factors are considered when evaluating causes of oral cancer. People at a higher risk of developing oral cancer may:

  • Have a genetic predisposition to abnormal cancerous cell growth.

  • Have high exposure to the sun or UV due to artificial tanning, which has damaged lip and skin tissue.

  • Smoke or chew tobacco that damages oral cell tissue.

  • Excessively drink alcohol, which damages oral cell tissue and the liver.

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