Oral Cancer Screening
The goal of an oral cancer screening is early identification of possible irregular or cancerous growths. Early detection provides a greater chance of a cure. The National Cancer Institute has estimated that each year, 40,000 people are diagnosed with mouth or throat cancer in the United States alone. Of these, 8,000 will result in death.
Oral Cancer Examination
During the screening, your dentist will check the outside and inside of your mouth for mouth sores and red or white patches. Using gloves, he will feel the tissues in your mouth and check for any lumps or anything abnormal. If we find an unusual sore or lesion, we may recommend you get further evaluation from a specialist. We check your entire mouth, including your lips, tongue, cheek tissue, gums, under the tongue, the hard palate in the roof of your mouth, and your throat.
During your visit, your dental professional may ask you about your health history. Regular visits can help ensure that any suspicious changes or abnormalities will be caught early.
Factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include:
- All Tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, and pipes.
- Alcohol consumption.
- History of oral cancer in your family.
Symptoms of oral or throat cancer can include:
- Painful, numb or tender spots.
- A crusted area.
- Sores that do not seem to heal.
- A lump that is thick or hard.
- A change in your bite.
Make sure to say if you have problems using your mouth for normal daily behavior, including speaking, chewing, swallowing or moving your tongue or jaw.
Contact our office today if you have any concerns about suspicious growths or sores in your mouth.