Oral cancer is a severe stage of oral disease that affects the mouth, teeth, tongue, and gums. Oral cancer screening is essential to know whether an individual is prone to cancer or not. During the Oral Cancer Screening, our qualified dentist will visually and physically check you for signs relating to oral cancer.
Here are some expectations when you undergo oral cancer screening:
- At Dental Arts Associates, our dentist will visually check your lips, face, neck, head and inside of the nose. The dentist will look for irregularities, such as swelling, patches, discolorations or ulcerations, and other abnormalities.
- Eyes may also be checked, if swelling is found it may be a sign of oral cancer that may have began in the palate, maxillary or ethmoid sinuses in the eyes may be a sign of a cancer.
- Our dentists will check the inside of your nose and mouth using light and mirror to see effectively. Everything inside the mouth will be checked including the teeth, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, floor of the mouth, tonsils and all the other areas in the mouth to look for signs related to oral cancer.
- The back of your mouth will be checked as well using a tongue depressor so our dentist can examine thoroughly.
- Our dentist will also touch your head and cheeks, the areas around the jaw, the area under the chin and in the oral cavity to feel for swelling and unusual masses.
- You’ll also be asked by our dentist to do the tongue out. That’s when they ask you to say “AHHHH…” while pulling out your tongue. This way your dentist will make sure to inspect your tongue and throat if there are signs of complications that could trigger oral cancer.
- Your dentist will ask you questions about your vices, including your eating and drinking habit, and maybe even your occupation. This helps dentists to know any source that might be prone to oral cancer. Alcoholic drinkers and smokers are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
If everything is normal after the screening, the patient may still be asked for regular checkup. Each individual is highly recommend to get an oral cancer screening as a precautionary measure.
If the dentist requires additional tests, it does not automatically mean that you have oral cancer. Further tests are required for proper diagnosis.