Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screenings, according to studies, are only taken by less than 15-25% of the people visiting their dentists regularly. Why is this important? Well, why do people take yearly prostate exams, for example? Oral cancer is a killer and early detection of this disease will mean better chances of preventing and stopping it.

What Happens at an Oral Screening?


It is an examination done on the mouth by either a doctor or a dentist and it has the purpose of finding any signs of cancer or precancerous conditions. The earlier these signs are found, the higher the chance for a cure. Some dentists do a screening with every routine dental visit, while others have a separate visit specifically for an oral cancer examination.

The dentist or doctor will examine everything that is necessary to examine in order to be as certain as possible that there are no signs of oral cancer. Outside of the mouth, he will examine the eyes, the ears and nose, the neck, the thyroid and the lips. Inside the mouth the buccal mucosa – the inner lining of the mouth – is thoroughly examined along with the tongue, soft and hard palate, floor of the mouth and the tonsils.

But what happens when there are signs of oral cancer found during the examination? Then your dentist or doctor will arrange a follow-up visit or a biopsy procedure to have a closer look at your problem.

Who Needs an Oral Screening?

Well, as we can see is the case with any cancer, we are all at risk. However, there are a few factors that could put someone at a greater risk of developing oral cancer. There is the obvious factor of Tabaco – that is, Tabaco of any kind which includes cigarettes, cigars, chewing Tabaco and pipes. Otherwise the abuse of alcohol can also increase the chances of one developing this life-threatening disease. Also, any previous detection of oral cancer, as well as excessive sun exposure are risk factors.

What Are the Benefits?

There are many benefits to having an oral screening done. There is the main one of the chance to diagnose the oral cancer as early as possible and therefore lower the risk of serious effects of the disease. It is also something simple that can be done and often takes place at a routine dental visit. So, it could potentially save your life and it doesn’t take too much effort or time. Dentists have really made it easy for people nowadays.

Oral cancer screenings need to become more a part of people’s lives. We are living in a world filled with deadly diseases and we need to be aware of this. Being aware of this would mean that we take it seriously. Oral cancer is one of these deadly diseases- so the next time you are at the dentist make sure to ask him whether or not you need an oral cancer screening. It is always better to be safe than sorry. And no doubt you will be very sorry if you don’t catch oral cancer before it becomes a very serious problem.

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