The thought of developing any kind of cancer is scary, but getting regular checkups and screenings can help give you peace of mind. An oral cancer screening is a quick and simple preventive measure that dentists use to identify the early signs of oral cancer. And the sooner the disease is identified, the sooner treatment can commence and the better the prognosis. So when should you get an oral cancer screening? What are they like?
What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a physical and visual exam of your oral cavity performed during a regular dental visit. The dentist examines the outside and inside of your mouth, checking for sores, red or white patches, ulcerations, and abnormal growths, and feels your neck, face, and tissues inside your mouth to make sure there aren’t any lumps present. If you wear dentures or partial dentures, those will be taken out, so the underlying tissues can be checked. For most patients, that’s all the screening entails. But if your dentist detects anything unusual or suspicious, they might use other tools, like a special light or brush, for closer examination.
Who Needs a Screening?
There are certain people who are a higher risk of getting oral cancer, so they should be sure to get checked on a regular basis. You are at an increased risk with these factors:
Individual & family history of mouth cancer
Certain types of HPV
Heavy alcohol consumption
A lot of unprotected time in the sun (which can lead to lip cancer)
Oral Cancer Screening in Rochester Hills & St. Clair Shores
Here at Hillstream Dental, we look for issues and signs of oral cancer during each biannual exam. No special preparation is needed and usually no other further testing is required. This precautionary screening is a fast, easy way to make sure your oral health is protected. So contact us today to schedule your next checkup!