Regular six-month oral exams are much more than just a thorough cleaning of the mouth. It is an opportunity for your dentist to look for signs of oral conditions including oral cancer.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is any type of cancer that develops in the mouth. It can be on the lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, the roof of the mouth, etc. There are many causes of oral cancer including alcohol and tobacco use and excessive sun exposure. Individuals who have a history of cancer or have a previous diagnosis are at a high risk of battling it once again.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
In most cases, your dentist will screen you for oral cancer during each six-month exam. While examining your mouth, your dentist will look for red or white patches, sores, lumps, and other abnormal signs. It is important you cooperate during this portion of the exam and that you are honest about your health.
If there are any areas in your mouth that may cause some concern, additional tests may be required. However, some of these tests can be as simple as shining a light on the sore or placing a small dye on it. For more serious cases, a biopsy may be needed to confirm a cancer diagnosis.
Make your oral health a priority. Call Arenson Dental today to schedule your appointment for a dental cleaning as well as a thorough exam and oral cancer screening. When there, you will receive the kind, professional, and warm dental care that you need and deserve.