Did you know that your dentist examines your mouth to check for signs of oral cancer at every check-up? Like other cancer screening practices, an oral exam can help prevent and detect the first signs of oral cancer. Your dentist will look for certain signs in your mouth that could indicate potential cancer. Our goal as dentists in Medicine Hat is to offer you the best most comprehensive treatment possible when it comes to oral cancer screening.

Signs of Oral Cancer

What are some potential signs of oral cancer? 

  • Sores in your mouth or on your lips that do not seem to be healing over time 
  • Swollen or puffy cheeks 
  • Discomfort and/or pain when chewing food 
  • Lumps on your neck, in your mouth, on your tongue or in another facial area 

Our dentists at Park Meadows Dental know what to keep an eye out for when performing an exam in your oral cavity for signs of cancer. In addition, your dentist may also notice some changes or indicators during a regular dental check-up and suggest further follow up. 

What does the oral cancer screening process look like? 

First, your dentist will do a full examination of your head, face, neck and skin; during this examination, they will be looking for warning signs such as skin discoloration, lumps, abnormal growths and areas of asymmetry. This evaluation will be performed both exteriorly and on the inside of the mouth. Depending on what your dentist sees they may ask you for a follow-up appointment or have you schedule regular appointments so that they can monitor anything out of the ordinary. If your dentist finds a growth, they will refer you to the right place for further evaluation.

It is always best practice to start screening for oral cancer as young as 18 years old. If you are a higher risk patient who smokes tobacco it would be beneficial to be screened at least twice a year too. To try and prevent oral cancer it is important to take good care of your oral health with brushing, flossing, regular dental visits every six months, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. 

Park Meadows Dental, located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, cares about the health of our patients. If you feel that any of these signs or symptoms may apply to you we would be happy to conduct an oral screening examination on you. If you have further questions pertaining to the oral screening process we would also be happy to provide more information. Call to book your appointment today! 

 

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