Oral cancer screening is an oral examination performed to identify signs of cancer in the oral cavity. Its primary focus is to determine oral cancer in its early stages when there is a greater chance of successful treatment. Oral cancer may be caused due to any of the following reasons:
- Tobacco consumption of any kind-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing and snuffing tobacco.
- Heavy alcohol consumption.
- Excessive sun exposure to lips.
- Exposure to a sexually transmitted virus called HPV during oral sex.
- Weak immune system.
- Chewing betel quid
During an oral cancer screening, a visual and physical exam of the oral cavity is performed. Dentists recommend oral cancer screening based on a patient's lifestyle and choices.
What happens during an oral cancer screening?
Oral screening begins with a visual exam in which the lips, gums, inside of the nose, tongue, tonsils, insides of cheeks, the roof of the mouth, and the back of the throat are examined and looked at carefully. The goal is to identify the presence of asymmetries, color patches, abnormal growths, and lesions. Dental prosthetics like dentures are removed during the exam to expose the entire oral cavity for a thorough examination.
Next, a physical exam is conducted. During this, the dentist touches the head, cheeks, area around the jaws, chin, and other oral structures to feel the unusual tissue growth. If the dentist identifies the presence of anything abnormal, the patient undergoes biopsy and other tests to determine the presence of cancer cells.
At Murray Dental Care of Cupertino, our entire team of dentists and hygienists is committed to providing supreme quality dental care to our patients and their families. If you are inclined towards taking the first steps to improve your dental health and hygiene, call us at (408) 253-5277 to book an appointment.