ORAL CANCER SCREENING
Oral exam for oral cancer screening
Your dentist may perform an oral exam during your routine dental visit to our location in Nashville, to screen for oral cancer. Early detection means a greater chance for a cure. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist looks for red or white patches or mouth sores.
Many people have abnormal sores in their mouths that are usually noncancerous. An oral exam doesn't determine if a sore is cancerous, so if your dentist finds an unusual sore, a biopsy may be necessary.
Who should consider oral cancer screening?
Patients with a high risk of oral cancer may be more likely to benefit from oral cancer screening. Factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
- Heavy alcohol use
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
Your dentist will know if oral cancer screening is appropriate for you. Also ask about ways you can reduce your risk of oral cancer, such as quitting smoking and not drinking alcohol.
What to look for
Oral cancer is very deadly, because most people never know they have it until it becomes severe. Diagnosing pathological tissue early as possible provides the best treatment outcome.
Our Nashville dentists will look for tissues that are raised, red, white, have uneven borders, sores that do not heal, or appear different from the tissues on other areas of your mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, notify us right away.