A good dentist will know what to look for when it comes to an Oral Cancer Screening. During a checkup, your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums looking for anything that may look suspicious.
If you wear dentures, your dentist will ask you to remove them before your Oral Cancer Screening in order to see the soft tissue that is covered when mouth appliances are in place.
Before the examination, your dentist will ask you questions in order to reveal anything that may indicate further examination of any particular part or parts of your teeth and gums. It is imperative that you be completely honest letting your dentist know if you have noticed any changes when you swallow of if something seems to catch or stick in your throat after you eat or drink. Your dentist will tell you that the sensation is not painful, but could become more noticeable over time. If your voice has been hoarse or you notice small lumps on the side of your neck, it is imperative that you let your dentist know. If you have noticed changes in the way your tongue moves, it is vital that you tell your dentist during the question and answer portion of your Oral Cancer Screening.
The Oral Cancer Foundation explains that during your Oral Cancer Screening, your dentist will check your lips, neck, face any mouth looking for any visible signs of cancer. A visible sore is obvious, but face symmetry and drooping are things that you would not normally notice. A good dentist will notice things that do not seem right such as swelling, slurred speech or a corner of your mouth that seems at odds with the other side.
During your Oral Cancer Screening, your dentist will feel the area outside of your neck and under your jaw looking for enlarged nodes or lumps. Although you may not experience pain in the nodes, but they are enlarged and hard it could be a sign of oral cancer. Touch is extremely important during an Oral Cancer Screening. Your dentist will feel and look at the insides of your cheeks and lips looking for pre-cancerous tissue such as white or red patches, or thickened areas in your mouth.
Your dentist will also ask you to stick your tongue out so that the color and texture can be checked for abnormalities. Your dentist will make sure that you can stick your tongue out while gently pulling it from side to side. The edges of your tongue will also be checked for hard spots and lesions.
Oral cancer is curable if caught in time, and if you would like an Oral Cancer Screening, schedule a checkup with your dentist today.