Part of a standard dental examination is an oral cancer screening. This means we are looking all over your mouth to make sure there aren’t any signs that oral cancer is starting. We look for small changes in your mouth that can signal other problems. The more regularly we see you, the sooner we can notice small issues. When it comes to oral cancer, the sooner we catch something, the easier it typically is to treat. Here are some of the things we look for while we are looking around your mouth.
The first part of an oral cancer screening is us checking over your cheeks and the palate, or the roof, of your mouth. We want to look for anything that is discolored, swollen, or open. Open cuts, even if you recently bit your cheek, could signal bigger problems. The area may have been swollen to begin with, which is what caused you to bite it in the first place. We examine the inside of your mouth for any tissue that is a different texture as well. This can be an early sign of a problem, and should be brought to our attention if you notice it between exams.
Once we are done with the cheeks and the roof of your mouth, we then move on to the gums and the floor of your mouth. We look for discolored tissues here as well, plus lumps that may be hard to notice due to the fact that the area is naturally bumpy and hard with bone and glands beneath it. Finally, we look at the opening to your throat for the same problems. If we notice anything that looks odd, we make a note of it. The next time you come in, we compare it. If it has changed or grown, we will schedule you for a biopsy. If it is gone, we will note that as well.
Should we ever happen across anything that looks worrisome, we will have you go in for a biopsy sooner, rather than waiting for changes. Whenever you come in and see us here at Dest Family Dentistry, we will make sure to do everything we can to help you maintain good oral health. We want to be sure that you and your mouth remain healthy just as much as you do. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.