Regular dental visits are not only to help you maintain a bright smile. They also provide your dentist with an opportunity to check your mouth for signs of oral cancer. This is why it’s important to see your dentist every six months for a checkup. Dr. Sirisha Pulapaka and Dr. Paul Scholl are dentists at The Art of Dentistry. They serve residents in Milwaukee, Butler, Brookfield, and Wauwatosa.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
The following can increase Milwaukee dental patients’ risk of developing oral cancer:
- Having had oral cancer before
- Using tobacco products
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- A compromised immune system
- Excessive sun exposure to your lips
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
What Happens During Oral Cancer Screening
When you go for your next dental checkup, your Milwaukee dentist will examine all parts of your mouth including:
- Outer and inner lips
- Inner cheeks
- The roof of your mouth
The examination takes less than five minutes. During the exam, your Milwaukee dentist will be looking for discolorations or lumps in your mouth tissue. In some cases, your dentist may ask you to rinse out your mouth with a blue dye before the exam. The dye will highlight any abnormal cells in your mouth.
What Happens if There Are Signs of Cancer?
If your dentist sees something abnormal, he will arrange another visit in a few weeks, to see if there are any changes. He may recommend a biopsy so a small piece of abnormal tissue can be sent to the lab and tested. Catching the condition early on means you have the best chance of successful treatment.
If you live in Milwaukee, Butler, Brookfield, or Wauwatosa and you would like to request an appointment for oral cancer screening, call Dr. Sirisha Pulapaka and Dr. Paul Scholl of The Art of Dentistry at 414-445-3670.