Oral Cancer Screening

As the sixth most common cancer, it’s no surprise that many patients are worried about their risk of oral cancer. The good news is that oral cancer has a low mortality rate, or reduced mortality rate if detected early.

At Healthy Living Dentistry, we can help ease your mind from oral cancer worries with a simple oral cancer screening included in your regular exam, or as requested.

What is Oral Cancer Screening?

A screening can detect signs of cancer even before the patient develops symptoms. Detecting oral cancer in its earliest stages is crucial to successful treatment and patient outlook. Oral cancer screening is an important part of your regular exam. Dr. Kim can check for irregular tissue and bumps in the mouth, neck, and head that might indicate oral cancer.

You may Need an Oral Cancer Screening if:

  • Though anyone can gain peace of mind through oral cancer screening, those at a higher risk of oral cancer will benefit the most from regular screening. Factors that can increase your risk of oral cancer include:
    • Tobacco use
    • Excessive alcohol use
    • Gender – oral cancer is twice as common in men
    • Age – oral cancer is more common in those over 50
    • HPV – HPV has been tied to oral cancer
    • Suppressed immune system

Although these can be signs of other medical conditions, you might request an oral exam if you experience one or more of the following symptoms as these are common signs of oral cancer:

  • Sores in the mouth that do not go away
  • Lumps or rough spots inside the mouth
  • Pain or numbness in the mouth or lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking

What to Expect During Oral Cancer Screening

Your oral cancer screening at Healthy Living Dentistry will be quick and comfortable. Your dentist will start by asking you to discuss your medical history and any symptoms you might be having. During the exam, your dentist will examine your gums, cheeks, tongue, tonsils, and roof and floor of your mouth. They will also examine surrounding areas of the head and neck. During the exam, Dr. Kim will feel for any indicators of oral cancer including irregular tissues or bumps.
After your exam, He will go over anything his team discovered. They might recommend a biopsy be done on a bump or tissue that they think is suspicious.

If you notice any signs of oral cancer or believe you could be at risk of developing oral cancer, contact Healthy Living Dentistry to schedule your screening.