What is an Oral Cancer Screening? 

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what is an oral cancer screening

Oral cancer, just like any other form of cancer, is something that should be taken seriously. Although we are still learning a lot about how it develops and how to treat them, we do know that cancer can arise from smoking, genetics, and poor dental health amongst other things.

But as is the case with any illness or injury, it can be prevented. Concerning oral cancer specifically, coming in to receive a velscope screening in NE Calgary is a great step towards this. For more information about this process, reach out to our local dental clinic.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

There are multiple signs and symptoms that indicate that you have oral cancer and should seek treatment from a dentist near you. This can include any of the following:

  • Ear pain.
  • Significant weight loss.
  • Unexpected bleeding inside your mouth.
  • Oral ulcers.
  • Difficulty swallowing and chewing.
  • It’s hard moving your tongue and jaw, which makes talking very hard.
  • Bumps have formed on your gums, lips, tongue, or the roof of your mouth.
  • A sore throat or voice changes.

If you find yourself dealing with any of these issues, contact a dentist right away. They’ll bring you in for a private consultation where they’ll physically evaluate your mouth and take x-rays to correctly diagnose your condition. Your dentist will also work with you to develop a subsequent treatment plan that works best for your specific case.

What is a VELscope?

In simple terms, a velscope is an advanced piece of dental equipment that assists dentists and oral surgeons identify abnormalities affecting your teeth, gums, lips, facial bones, and throat. A special LED blue light is employed to activate or “excite” molecules in your oral cavity. This is known as fluorescence. Healthy tissues will appear green; unhealthy tissues will absorb the light.

Your dentist in NE Calgary can also use the velscope to diagnose other dental issues like bacterial infections, inflammation, oral dysplasia (which refers to the growth of abnormal cells in the mucus lining in your mouth), and tumors in your salivary glands.

Receiving a velscope screening is quick and pain-free. It should take no more than a couple of minutes to do, and then you’ll be able to get on with your day or any other dental work that you need. Your dentist will walk you through the process, so you know what to expect. Should you have any questions at this time, don’t be afraid to ask them.

Typically, velscope screenings can be incorporated into your routine dental cleaning and checkup. If your oral health is not where it should be or if you’re struggling with more serious problems like an infection or chronic bleeding, your dentist will most likely recommend that you come in more frequently. This way, they’ll be able to monitor your progress more closely and take action if necessary.

At the end of the day, the velscope is a preventative tool. Life is unpredictable, which means that we can’t anticipate everything, but we can take certain steps to ensure that our mouth stays as healthy as possible. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Attending biannual checkups.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. However, brushing after each meal is better.
  • Not smoking.
  • Consuming less alcohol and sugary foods.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips. This can be prevented by using sunscreen lip protection.

Are you looking to receive a velscope screening near you? At Temple Dental Wellness, we are here to assist you with this however we can. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff looks forward to working with you and walking alongside you on your oral health journey.

Looking after the health of your teeth and gums is just as important as taking care of your heart, mind, and soul. All the systems of our body work together to keep you alive and happy, and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Give us a call, visit our website, or come into our clinic in person to get started today.