If you smoke or use tobacco, alcohol, or have a previous diagnosis of oral cancer, these are all reasons why your dentist may suggest an oral cancer screening. Significant sun exposure, which exposes your lips to a higher risk of cancer, is also a reason for having an oral cancer screening completed. The screening process is very simple and straightforward, and it can be handled entirely in office, but if your dentist has suggested one for you, you may be curious as to what it includes.
Your dentist will examine your mouth to look for signs of precancerous or cancerous conditions inside. They will check your tongue, cheeks, teeth, and other areas thoroughly to spot early signs of oral cancer. The purpose is that early identification can save your life because early detection means more treatment options, and generally a higher success rate of treatment.
Most of the time, your dentist will perform the examination during any routine dental visit. However, if you have additional risk factors like those mentioned above, your dentist may use some additional tests to ensure that your oral health is up to standard. Keep in mind that your dentist’s oral screening may not be able to detect all signs, but having one completed can keep you on track to a healthy smile for life.
If it happens that your dentist does spot potential signs of oral cancer, they will let you know right away so that you can follow up with a specialized doctor. Otherwise, you’ll be given the go-ahead to continue maintaining your healthy smile!
If you are in need of an oral cancer screening in Manassas or would just like more information about oral health, schedule an appointment with our team today.