Oral Cancer ScreeningsCancer in any form is a very serious medical issue. Oral cancer, however, is something that threatens some of the most vital functions of the human body including eating, swallowing, and even breathing. Symptoms of oral cancer include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the mouth and/or ear
  • Mouth sores
  • Red or white patches in oral tissue
  • Chronic sore throat

The process of an oral cancer screening can take place in six painless and quick steps, only taking up to a few minutes.

1. Preparing for the exam

Before oral cancer screenings can begin, you’ll need to remove any dentures or partials you may have in your mouth.

2. Initial inspection

The first inspection your dentist will make is of your lips, mouth, face, and neck. Your dentist is looking for any noticeable signs of cancer.

3. Check the neck

Next, your dentist will take a few fingers to thoroughly examine your neck for enlarged lymph nodes or any sign of possible infection.

4. Tongue check

Using a piece of gauze, the dentist will then check the sides and the underside of your tongue. During this check, your dentist is looking for any patchiness or lumps that may be signs of cancer.

5. Up and down in the mouth

One of the last steps of oral cancer screenings is a check of the roof and floor of your mouth. The dentist is again checking for any red or white patches, as well as any sores that may be apparent in these areas.

6. Back of the throat and tonsils

The final step in oral cancer screenings is to check the throat and tonsils for any unusual bumps, swelling, or redness. The dentist is also looking at your tonsils to see if there is any abnormal shaping.

If you think you may be showing symptoms of oral cancer or have more questions regarding oral cancer screenings, contact us immediately!