Oral Cancer Screening
An oral exam for the screening of oral cancer can and may be performed during a routine dental appointment. Catching any irregularities early on means a better chance for a cure. Your dentist will look for white or red patches or sores on the mouth during the oral exam.
It is common for people to have abnormal sores in their mouths; however, they are usually not cancerous. The oral exam will not be able to ascertain if a sore is cancerous, but if your dentist finds a sore, a biopsy may be processed.
Considerations of Oral Cancer Screening
It is advised that patients with a higher risk or oral cancer consider undergoing oral cancer screening. Those factors that cause an increase in the risk of oral cancer include the following:
Tobacco use – any kind – cigarettes, pipes, chewing tobacco, cigars, etc.
High alcohol consumption
A prior oral cancer diagnosis.
Your dentist will advise if an oral cancer screening is required based on your circumstances. They will also suggest how you can limit your risk of oral cancer, such as not drinking alcohol and quitting smoking.