Oral cancer screening is an examination performed by a dentist or doctor to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth.
The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure. At Mimico Creek Dental, we have the Velscope which can aid in early detection of abnormalities in the mouth.
Most dentists and Dental Hygienists perform an examination of your mouth during a routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. Some dentists may use additional tests to aid in identifying areas of abnormal cells in your mouth.
Signs and symptoms
Factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include:
- White or dark red patches in your mouth, or on your lips or tongue.
- Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of the mouth tissues.
- Bleeding or numbness in the mouth; sores or patches that do not heal.
- Difficulty swallowing; changes in taste or tongue sensation
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
- Heavy alcohol use
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
- History of significant sun exposure, which increases the risk of lip cancer
Come in for regular check-ups to your dentist so that any instance of oral cancer can either prevented or detected early for treatment.