Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Specialists in Dental Implants
What We See on X-rays When We Look for Oral Cancer
Posted on 11/15/2019 by Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
One of the most basic tools we use in our office are x-rays. They can help us recognize the state of your oral health.
They can see many problems that range from teeth emerging to cavities to oral cancer. Out of those things, oral cancer is the scariest. We are looking for certain things if we suspect oral cancer when looking at the x-rays.
The Basics of X-Rays
Most people have seen an x-ray, but that does not mean they know exactly what they are looking for. Until someone who knows how to read an x-ray can point things out, it is just another picture to look at. When it comes to oral cancer, x-rays of the mouth and jaw are an important tool to diagnose the problem.
When getting x-rays to check for oral cancer, we will x-ray more areas than just the mouth. This is because cancer can spread, and it is important to check to see if this happens. This means in addition to getting x-rays of the mouth, we may also get chest x-rays and x-rays of other areas of the jaw and skull.
Looking for Signs
Cancer will show up as spots on the x-rays. One of the things we look for is changes in the x-rays. We look at older x-rays to compare them to the new ones and to spot any changes or to learn how fast things are changing.
The x-rays are only one of the tools we have for spotting oral cancer. If changes are seen or something abnormal appears in the x-rays, it makes us look further. That can include more exams and more tests, including a biopsy. When we combine all these things, it allows us to accurately diagnose the cancer and come up with the best course of treatment to eradicate it.
Call today to schedule an appointment for your oral health checkup.