Oral cancer is a potentially life-threatening disease that we screen for during initial consultations, routine cleanings, and examinations. During oral cancer screening, we carefully examine the mouth, tongue, and throat for any signs of oral cancer. Signs often include:
However, oral cancers cannot be diagnosed by sight alone. Any area of concern will further require a biopsy — the only definitive way to determine if cancer is present. If you notice any significant changes in the mouth, neck, or throat area consult with our specialists regarding an oral cancer screening.
The main goal of an oral cancer examination is to detect any precancerous or cancerous symptoms in the mouth. Most people discover symptoms of oral cancer from biting the tongue, cheek, or inside of the mouth. If there is a noticeable difference of lumps located anywhere in the mouth, throat, or neck, or spots that have changed in texture, a professional exam is advised.
When oral cancer symptoms are detected and treated in the early stages, the chance of recovering is significantly heightened. Oral cancer exams are quick and painless, and are another good reason to have a complete dental checkup every six months! Oral cancer screenings are part of each routine checkup!
During the oral examination, be sure to advise the specialist of any concerns you may be having. Things you should inform our specialists of include:
Individuals who are at a higher risk of oral cancers will benefit greatly from oral screening exams. Factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include:
Most mouth sores are noncancerous and cannot be properly diagnosed by sight alone. If an abnormal spot is found in the mouth, additional exams may be required to determine whether or not it is cancerous. The definite way of doing so is by performing a biopsy on the abnormal spot. During this procedure, some of the abnormal cells will be removed to be tested for cancer.