Oral Cancer Screenings
During the exam, the dentist will look inside of the patient’s mouth and feel the surrounding tissues and check for any abnormalities.
Oral exams are a very important step in finding cancer early. In fact, the American Dental Association states that all adults should undergo oral exams during each dental visit. The American Cancer Society states that oral cancer screenings should be discussed during every visit to the dentist.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
There are a various symptoms associated with oral cancer but some of the most common include:
- White, red, or speckled patches inside of the mouth
- Persistent sores on the face, mouth, and neck that bleed constantly and do not go away after two weeks
- Lumps, bumps, swelling, or thickening on areas inside of the mouth such as the gums along with the lips
- Soreness in the back of the throat
- Difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing
- Change in the way dentures or teeth fit
- Unexplained mouth bleeding
Just like any other cancer, oral cancer is treated with surgery to remove any growths that are cancerous. This may be followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill off any remaining cancer cells along with reconstructive dental work.