Oral Cancer Screening
Complete Oral Health
We’re committed to helping you maintain your most beautiful smile. MORE IMPORTANTLY, we are dedicated to keeping you healthy. As part of our holistic approach to your care, we screen for oral cancer as part of each regular patient checkup. Our number one priority is to catch oral cancer early and treat it promptly. If you maintain a regular appointment schedule, our chances of detecting oral cancer will be optimized.
Sign and Symptoms
You may not notice symptoms of oral cancer. Like other diseases, it can remain invisible or painless; as such, regular dental screenings are important whether or not you detect trouble. There are some signs, though, that you can watch for. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include the following:
- Red or white spots in the oral cavity
- Sores in the oral cavity
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A lump or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. Using our expertise and proper screening tools, we’ll make sure that the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified.
As performed by our well-trained team, an oral screening will be simple and quick. The screening involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole. We will first visually examine your mouth. We will then palpate the tissue of your mouth and throat to check for any abnormalities. If no abnormalities are detected, we will continue on with the rest of your normal checkup. If we do, however, find a possible sign of oral cancer, we may perform a brush test. The purpose of this simple and painless test is to collect cells from lesion or area of concern in the mouth. The cells will be sent to the lab for analysis. If the test were to come back atypical or positive, we may recommend a biopsy. At that point, we’d likely refer you to an oral surgeon.
Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer. You should be sure to do the following:
- Avoid all tobacco products.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Limit your exposure to the sun.
- Always wear UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin and lips.
During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist about the oral screening. Remember that early detection of oral cancer can improve the chances of a successful treatment.