What Is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screenings are a crucial part of preventative dental care. When oral cancer screening is done, a dentist will examine your cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, floor, and roof of your mouth to check for lesions that can be a symptom of the disease. Here at Gentle Dental Maine, our dentists will look for any abnormalities that may indicate oral cancer at each of your regular biannual appointments! While oral cancer can be a scary thought, screening for the disease each time you come to the dentist is essential to make sure you’re in good health!

How Often Should I Get An Oral Cancer Screening?

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone over the age of 18 gets regular oral cancer screenings at their biannual dentist appointments. While we can’t speak for every dental office, we know that at Gentle Dental Maine, oral cancer screenings are part of every regular check up and teeth cleaning. Regular oral cancer screenings are especially important for people who have additional risk factors like a family history of cancer, tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and HPV. If you’ve noticed any changes in your oral health or are concerned about oral cancer, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible!

Signs & Symptoms Of Oral Cancer

There are many symptoms that can be a sign of oral cancer. During your oral cancer screening, your dentist will check your mouth thoroughly for any unexplained bumps, sores, and red or white patches on the skin inside your mouth. Other symptoms can include difficulty speaking, eating, or swallowing, frequent bleeding in the mouth, and mouth or ear pain. Oral cancer is most often diagnosed in adults over 40 years old, and men are twice as likely to develop the disease when compared to women.

How Is Oral Cancer Treated?

When oral cancer is detected during its early stages, it can be treated using surgery or radiation therapy. If your dentist detects any signs of oral cancer during a screening, they’ll give you recommendations on what kind of specialist you should see to treat the disease. Early detection of oral cancer is crucial to effectively fight the disease, which is one reason that regular screenings and bi-annual dental appointments are so important!

Contact Gentle Dental Maine!

If you have any questions about oral cancer screenings, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!