Oral Cancer Screening: Essential for Every Mouth
With about 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year, early detection is essential. One or two times per year an oral cancer exam should be performed.
Individuals who regularly use tobacco, consume alcohol or have had prior oral cancer most certainly should be regularly checked. Unprotected time in the sun can raise the chance of getting cancer on your lips. The rise in incidents of human papillomavirus (HPV) is also a concern (there are 40 cancer causing strains of the mouth/throat).
When you are receiving this type of exam, the doctor is observing all surfaces of your mouth, including lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, floor, roof and the back of the throat. He may gently move your tongue from side to side and run his gloved fingers around the inside of your cheeks to feel for any anomalies. The glands around the lower jaw and neck (especially the thyroid) are also important to check for irregularities.
If the dentist notices anything out of the ordinary, he will likely recheck you in a couple weeks to see if the irregularity goes away. He may recommend a biopsy be done, which is the process of taking a small tissue sample and submitting it to a lab for testing. A 3-D scan may also provide greater information.
Sores, spots and lumps your dentist finds usually turn out to be of no concern. When cancer is diagnosed, early detection means better treatment outcomes. Call today for your oral examination!
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035