Oral cancer is a serious and life-threatening condition that affects thousands of Americans every year. The key to improving survival rates, however, can be found in early detection and prompt treatment.
With modern dental technology, dentists have powerful tools to improve the detection of oral abnormalities and increase the chances of identifying oral cancer in its early stages.
This new wave of dental technology, specifically the VELscope used at The Smile Centre, is a game-changer for oral cancer screenings.
VELscope for Detecting Oral Abnormalities
VELscope is a cutting-edge technology used by dental professionals as a new standard for oral cancer screening.
This powerful tool provides an enhanced visualization of oral abnormalities that could stay undetected during a routine visual examination. The VELscope procedure is quick, painless, and highly effective in identifying areas of concern.
During the screening, blue light is used to stimulate natural fluorescence in the soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips, mouth, and throat. This fluorescence enables dentists to identify changes in oral tissue that are often invisible to the naked eye.
With VELscope, dentists can ensure that potential signs of oral cancer are promptly identified, leading to better treatment outcomes.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Understanding the risk factors associated with oral cancer is critical for promoting awareness and early detection.
Common risk factors include:
- Tobacco and Alcohol Use: Regular use of tobacco products and heavy alcohol consumption, especially in individuals over the age of 40, increases the risk of oral cancer.
- HPV Infection: Young, healthy non-smokers infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) are at risk of developing oral cancer, particularly in those younger than 50.
- UV Exposure: Prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun can increase the risk of lip cancer.
- Poor Diet: Diets low in fruits and vegetables may also contribute to an increased risk of oral cancer.
Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer is vital for early detection. Some common indicators include:
- White or Red Patches: Unexplained white or red patches of tissue in the mouth should be evaluated by a dentist.
- Persistent Sores: Any sores or discoloration that do not heal within two weeks should be examined by a medical professional.
- Abnormal Lumps or Masses: The presence of painless lumps or masses inside the mouth or throat shouldn’t be ignored.
- Difficulty Swallowing, Speaking, or Chewing: Persistent difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or chewing could be a warning sign of oral cancer.
- Hoarseness and Numbness: Long-term hoarseness or numbness in the oral or facial region should be checked by a qualified dentist.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Early detection is critical for improving the chances of successful treatment and survival in oral cancer cases. The Smile Centre is dedicated to providing comprehensive oral health care, including advanced oral cancer screening, using VELscope technology.
Schedule a consultation with their skilled dentists in Sarasota, FL, by calling their Palm Aire location at 941-351-4468.