How do I get screened for oral cancer?
At each of your cleaning appointments we use a light called Oral ID that helps find anything abnormal in the mouth along with looking in different areas of the cheeks, lips and tongue for signs and symptoms. The advantages of having annual appointments are helping detect oral cancer at an early stage.
What if my dentist finds something abnormal in my mouth?
We would then recommend a biopsy of the area. Most of the time we biopsy right in our office with a simple procedure. Sometimes we will refer to an oral surgeons office.
What is a biopsy?
In our office, we do a brush biopsy. This procedure is just how it sounds, we take a small brush to the area of concern to get a sample of the cells. The sample is then sent out to a lab where they diagnose and send the information back to our office and patient. Most of the time the results are benign.
What are some signs and symptoms I should be aware of?
- Having a sore in the mouth for than 2 weeks
- Red or white lesion on soft tissue in the mouth
- Hoarse sounding voice for a long period of time
- Numbness in the mouth
- Trouble swallowing
- A lump in the mouth or neck
The good news is that if caught in early stages it can be treated effectively, so be sure to get your annual screenings!!!