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Oral Cancer Examinations
in Ottawa, ON

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Oral cancer is one of the least talked about cancers, but with over 4,500 Canadians estimated to be diagnosed with it in 2017, it should evidently be of much more concern. And, since it’s not frequently discussed, many people are unaware of what exactly the symptoms include. Thankfully, you can help prevent oral cancer by seeing a dentist regularly for an oral cancer examination at our Little Italy dentist on Preston Street in Downtown Ottawa.

What is an Oral Cancer Examination?

During every checkup at Dow’s Lake Dental, our team takes the time to check for any signs of potential cancers. This routine examination involves checking for any irregular tissue changes or lumps inside your mouth, as well as providing a thorough examination of your face and neck. It’s a quick and painless exam that only takes a few minutes, but it can make a big difference in your life.

Quick and Effective Examination Process

During an oral exam, your dentist will ask about your current health conditions, along with any medications that you are currently taking to determine if you may have any special risks for disease or cancer. A thorough inspection of your mouth, lips, face, neck, and jaw would be carried out by our dentists. Preston Street in Little Italy is the convenient location for this checkup. They will look for any red or white patches on your lips and cheeks, and will also inspect your tongue for any abnormal colours or swelling. They will also thoroughly inspect the inside of your mouth and back of your throat to check for any changes or sensitivities that may look suspicious.

The Importance of an Oral Cancer Examination

When oral cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, treatment can be very effective. If there are any potential signs that are concerning, your dentist may require a biopsy to be performed to determine what exactly they’re looking at. If the results indicate that further attention is needed, then they’ll give you a referral so you can get the care you need as soon as possible. Early detection is key in avoiding what could become a dental emergency. Dentist trips can seem intimidating but these are essential to helping us spot signs of oral cancer before they develop.

Detecting oral cancer early-on can save your life. If you have noticed any changes inside or around your mouth area, it’s important that you schedule an appointment immediately. A dentist from our team will thoroughly examin the area and address your concerns. If there are any problematic areas,  we’ll notify you right away.

Contact us today to schedule your next appointment or call us at (613) 406-6464 at our Downtown Ottawa dentist office. If you are looking for a Preston Street dentist in Little Italy, look no further.

Common Questions About Oral Cancer Exams

It’s recommended that you get screened for oral cancer every three years after the age of 20 and every year after the age of 40. In the interest of your health and safety, your dentist will screen you for oral cancer during your annual checkups. During this appointment, we’ll examine your mouth, neck, and lips for early signs of oral cancer.

There are several warning signs that may indicate that you have oral cancer. Symptoms of oral cancer include the following:

-A sore on your lip or mouth that won’t heal

-A growth anywhere in your mouth

-Bleeding in your mouth

-Increased tooth mobility

-Pain or difficulty swallowing

-A lump in your neck

-An earache that won’t go away

-Dramatic weight loss

-Numbness in lips, face, neck, or chin 

-White and/or red patches in your mouth or on your lips

-A sore throat

-Jaw pain or stiffness

-Tongue pain

If you think you have oral cancer, contact our office immediately by calling (613) 406-6464. Early intervention will improve your chances of a successful outcome.

There are a few risk factors associated with oral cancer. These include:

-Tobacco use of any kind

-Heavy alcohol use

-Excessive sun exposure to your lips

-A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)

-A weakened immune system

-Poor nutrition

-Genetic predisposition

-Family history 

Seeing your dentist for regular checkups will help them detect any early signs of oral cancer so that treatment can begin immediately.

First, your doctor or dentist will perform a physical exam. This includes examining the mouth, throat, tongue, and cheeks, as well as the lymph nodes in your neck.

If any areas are found to be suspicious, we’ll perform a biopsy to collect cells so they can be viewed under a microscope to determine if they’re cancerous.

In addition to an examination and biopsy, your doctor may perform the following tests:

-X-ray to see if cancer cells have spread

-CT scan to check for tumors

-PET scan to determine if cancer has traveled to the lymph nodes

-MRI to show a more accurate image of the head and neck, and determine the extent or stage of the cancer

-Endoscopy to examine the nasal passages, sinuses, inner throat, windpipe, and trachea

We recommend that you come to our office every three to six months for regular appointments unless otherwise recommended by Dr. El-Hawary. At your routine checkup, we’ll perform an examination of your oral health and clean your teeth to make sure they’re completely clear of plaque and bacteria.

Some patients only go to the dentist if they have a problem, but the focus should be on preventative dentistry. Even if you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily, it’s easy to miss areas between teeth and under the gumline. Plaque can harden into a material called tartar, which is nearly impossible to remove on your own. Tartar can buildup and lead to cavities, so it’s crucial to come in for regular cleanings

Many disorders can’t be seen with the naked eye or are hidden under the gumline. X-rays can detect issues such as:

-Abscesses or cysts

-Developmental abnormalities

-Some types of tumors

-Decay that exists between teeth or below restorations

-Infections in the bone or gums 

When we examine your oral health on a regular basis, we’re able to detect any issues before they become complicated and require more intensive treatments. Scheduling regular checkups and professional cleanings at our downtown Ottawa office will help ensure your mouth is free of disease and in the best of health.