Oral Cancer Screening
During the cleaning and exam, the head, neck, lips, tongue, gums, and cheeks are inspected for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer represents about 4% of all cancers and 2.2% of all cancer deaths in the United States.
What are some risk factors for oral cancer?
- Long term sun exposure
- Tobacco use of any kind
- Heavy alcohol use
- Family history of oral cancer
- History of HPV
- Unhealthy diet
Typically starting as a small sore that doesn’t seem to heal, oral cancer has an excellent prognosis if caught in it’s early stages.
What are some signs of oral cancer?
- A sore that doesn’t seem to heal
- Red or white patches
- A lump, thickening, or rough area where there was not before
- Changes in how your teeth bite together
- Trouble or tenderness when moving tongue
What can I do to prevent oral cancer?
- Quitting all tobacco use
- Reducing drinking alcohol
- See your dentist regularly
- Eat healthy
- Monitor any changes in your mouth or throat
For those that have full mouth dentures, it is still important to have your mouth checked by a dentist. It is recommended to have an oral cancer screening done at least once a year. Tobacco users are fifteen times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-tobacco users.
The Tobacco Connection
Healthy Mouth Oral Cancer Info