Oral Cancer Screening
At Thrive Dental and Orthodontics, the Dentists provide oral cancer screenings to detect signs of cancer early on. Because oral cancer has a higher recovery rate the sooner it is caught, our dentists carefully conduct screenings to keep your mouth healthy. This helps prevent any cancer detected from evolving into a more serious issue.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Many symptoms of oral cancer aren’t visible to the naked eye, but you can still be on the lookout for these common signs:
- White or red lesions in your mouth
- Lumps beneath or on the surface of soft tissue
- Sores on your tongue, lips, gums, and in your mouth
- Difficulty chewing
- Trouble with swallowing
- Persistent soreness in your throat
- Pain in your ears
- Numb spots in your mouth
What does my dentist look for during a screening?
Just like other types of cancer, the primary job of this screening is to find any signs early on. It is estimated that dentists detect around 84% of oral cancers in their earlier stages, which is why a routine screening that takes a matter of minutes has the potential to save your life.
Our dentists will carefully examine your mouth for any signs of cancer or cancerous tissue. This short but thorough screening will tell you right away if you are cancer-free or if you need a biopsy for further investigation. Oral cancer screenings play a vital role in the maintenance of your oral and overall health.
What to expect during my screening?
An oral cancer screening is a visual and physical examination of your mouth. One of our highly-trained dentists will examine the entirety of your mouth for any warning symptoms of cancer. They will check the roof and floor of your mouth as well as your tongue, lips, cheeks, throat, and face for any irregularities that could be signs of cancer. They will also feel along your jaw and neck to check if your lymph nodes are feeling healthy. Lastly, they may also feel or rub your jaw and ears for any lumps or lesions that may be a cause for concern.
This standard part of your routine dental examination has the potential to prevent life-threatening oral cancer. If you haven’t been in for a dental checkup recently, contact our office today to receive expert preventive care and an oral cancer screening.