Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are a routine procedure that are done twice per year during your 6 month checkup and teeth cleanings. A screening for oral cancer includes a visual examination as well as a physical examination of the gums, pharynx, soft tissue, and tongue.
First, your dental hygienist will review any changes to your medical history since your last appointment. They will take note if you’ve been diagnosed with any new conditions or diseases, or if you’ve begun taking any new medications.
The medical history will likely also include questions regarding your oral cancer risk factors, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. People who smoke and consume alcohol have an even greater chance of developing oral cancer.
The dentist will then search for asymmetries, as well as any swelling, suspicious lumps and bumps, white patches, sores, rough patches, or other abnormalities. The dentist will examine the nostrils and mouth using a small light and a mirror, as well as use a tongue depressor to investigate the back of the throat.
Oral cancer screenings are an integral part of your 6 month check up and teeth cleaning. Be sure to ask your Austin Family Dentistry dentist any questions you may have about the process!