Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screenings are an important part of a dental exam. If signs of oral cancer are caught early enough, you often still have a chance at a cure or treatment before it gets more serious. Without oral cancer screenings, you may not know you have oral cancer until it is too late. So visit our dental clinic near you for oral cancer screening with dental exams.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth, throat, and sinuses. This encompasses the gums, palate, lips, cheeks, and tongue. Oral cancer kills an average of one person per hour in the United States every year. Sometimes you may feel pain or have a lump, but many times you will have no symptoms. Early detection is important in saving your life, so it is important to get routine screenings with your dentist.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Certain things can dramatically increase your risk of oral cancer. These risk factors can include tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, sexually transmitted diseases, and excessive sun exposure. If you have previously had oral cancer, you are significantly more likely to develop cancer again. People over the age of forty are also more likely than those who are younger but do not assume you are safe because of your age.

How an Oral Cancer Screening is Done

Usually, your dentist will perform oral cancer screening at your regular dental exams. The dentist will start by using a mirror to look thoroughly throughout your mouth. They will be checking for lesions. Next, the dentist will feel around your mouth and cheeks to check for lumps or anything abnormal. Some dentists will also use a special dye rinse or light that will highlight abnormal cells in your mouth.

If no abnormalities are found, you will move on to the rest of your exam. If there are any abnormalities, your dentist will want to run some more tests. These tests will usually include a biopsy and a follow-up series of appointments where the dentist can monitor the abnormal cells and see if they change in any way.

Oral cancer screening is an important part of your overall oral health, and therefore, an important part of your whole body wellness.

Please call us at Digital Smiles today to ask about getting this important screening done with your routine dental exam. We provide oral cancer screening service in Long Beach, Palos Verde, Yorba Linda and Torrance, CA.

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