Oral cancer screening is a preventive and routine examination performed by the dentist to look for any signs of mouth cancer or lesions that may turn cancerous. Its objective is to identify oral cancer or the existence of precancerous lesions in the mouth at an early stage. This ensures that the patient is treated quickly, and their probability of getting cured is higher. Typically, oral cancer screening is a part of routine dental check-ups. However, dentists may use additional tests to analyze any abnormal growth of cells in the mouth.
Should You Ask Your Dentist for Oral Cancer Screening?
If you are at a higher risk of being affected by the disease, it is always a good idea to opt for oral cancer screening during your routine dental check-ups. Certain things that make you highly prone to developing oral cancer are:
- Consumption of tobacco in different forms such as smoking, chewing dip or use of snuff
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- A history of oral cancer
- Extended exposure to sunlight as it may make your lips prone to developing cancer
- Exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV), which you can contract during oral sex
What to Expect During the Screening?
The screening typically takes less than 5 minutes and involves a thorough examination of your mouth. The dentist checks your lips inside and out, gums, tongue, inside of the cheek, the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat. Additionally, the dentist may also examine your jaw, chin, and tongue to look out for lumps that may be developing between the tissues. The dentist may also tell you to rinse your mouth with a blue liquid to identify abnormal cells. Normal cells absorb the blue dye singling out abnormal growth in the mouth. If the dentist comes across a lump, he may either call for a biopsy or book another appointment with you to check for changes.
To get oral cancer screening, visit 7707 West Lane Suite B, Stockton, CA 95210, or book an appointment with us at (209) 952-9290.