Oral Cancer Screening in Children
Each year, more than 50,000 people receive a diagnosis of tongue, tonsils, throat, or mouth cancer. At Smile Kids! Pediatric Dentistry, it's our responsibility as dental experts to promote oral cancer screenings and the value of early detection. Although it is extremely unlikely for a child to develop oral cancer, it is nevertheless vital to check during routine check ups. Regular oral cancer screenings are extremely crucial if your adolescent consumes cigarettes.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer and oral cavity cancer are two more names for cancer that develops on the interior of the mouth. It can appear on the lips, gums, tongue, inner cheek lining, roof or floor of the mouth, among other areas of the mouth, like under the tongue. Oral cancer can still occur in kids, despite the fact that it is considerably more prevalent in adults, particularly those who use tobacco, or alcohol, or have HPV.
Detecting Oral Cancer
Each and every dental checkup that we provide at our office includes a screening for oral cancer. During your child's cleaning, we will perform a thorough check of their oral cavity, including their lips, cheek lining, gums, the front part of their tongue, the floor of their mouth, and the roof of their mouth, as well as the interior of their mouth. As part of our examination, we will also look at the soft part at the roof of their mouth, including their tonsils and the back part of the tongue as well as the part at which the tongue attaches itself to its base. In the next step, the dentist will apply pressure to their jaw and neck to detect any lumps or abnormalities that may be present.
Signs of Oral Cancer
We constantly monitor your child's mouth for any changes or anomalies. While we keep an eye out for these symptoms when they visit, it's crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms at home. Notify our pediatric dentist immediately if your child has a sore that won't heal, white or red patches in their mouth, discomfort or numbness in their lips or mouth, or issues chewing, speaking, swallowing, or moving their tongue.
Preventing Oral Cancer in Your Child
You should make sure that your child brushes their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, make sure that they floss regularly, and they should visit the dentist twice a year. Our office offers oral cancer screenings as part of every dental appointment. Be sure your child is eating a healthy diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that they limit their intake of sugars and starches. You can prevent oral cancer by following these steps, as well as helping keep your child's body and mouth healthy. Immediately schedule an oral cancer screening for your child if you notice any changes in his or her mouth.
In the early stages of the disease, oral cancer may be treatable. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning oral cancer screenings at Smile Kids! Pediatric Dentistry by calling (276) 663-0065.