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Why You Need an Oral Cancer Screening from Your Marietta Dentist Marietta, GA
James A. Merriman DMD, FAGD, PC is now Envision Dental!
woman at a dental appointment

Oral cancers are commonly categorized as head and neck cancers, however, brain cancer is a separate category in itself. It’s estimated, over 48,000 Americans will be diagnosed with an oral or pharyngeal cancer each year, with roughly 9,500 deaths per year associated to the cancers. Unfortunately, the death rate of oral cancers is fairly high due to the fact it’s often discovered late in development. Part of the reason oral cancer is discovered late is due to the fact there is no standard or routine that’s used to test for oral cancer. Therefore, it’s important to ask your Marietta dentist for an oral cancer screening. The sooner you catch the development of cancer, the more likely a positive outcome.

Oral Cancer Screening Marietta

A dentist in Marietta conducts oral screenings to look for signs of precancerous and cancerous conditions. The overall examination is used to evaluate the mouth during a dental visit to look for areas of concern. In addition, there are other tests that can be used to identify abnormal cells within the mouth.

The screenings will look at the lips and oral cavity. The oral cavity consists of the front portion of the tongue, gums, lining on the inside of the cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard palate and retromolar trigone. The screenings will also test the oropharynx, which includes the middle part of the throat, back portion of the tongue, sides of the throat, and the tonsils. When cancer is present, it generally begins as thin, flat cells that line these areas.

An oral screening is often performed during routine dental visits. For those who have certain risk factors for oral cancer, such as smoking, you may need an oral cancer screening in Marietta more often.

Oral Screening Procedure

In addition to a visual evaluation, your dentist may perform other tests, which may include Toluidine Blue Stain, which coats cancer lesions in the mouth with a blue dye. This highlights areas in a darker shade of blue that are cancer or precancerous. Fluorescence staining is a similar procedure which uses a fluorescent mouth wash to view abnormal tissue under a special light.

Additional screenings may include an Exfoliative Cytology, which is used to collect cells from the lips and oral cavity using a brush or wooden stick to view under a microscope. A Brush Biopsy is similar, except it collects the cells from the layers of a lesion.

Posted on behalf of Envision Dental

130 Vann Street NE Ste #210
Marietta, GA 30060

Phone: (770) 425-0448

Mon - Thur 8AM - 5PM