Has your dentist mentioned that you should get an oral cancer screening? Oral cancer screenings are important to ensure your health and safety and should happen every 1-3 years. To help you learn more before your oral cancer screening, at Redondo Beach Dental Center we have created helpful oral cancer screening guidelines for you.
What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a special exam that your dentist performs in order to ensure you don’t have the signs, symptoms, or risk factors of oral cancer. Screenings can be performed during your routine dental visit. Your dentist will examine your mouth carefully and perform further tests as needed.
Other tests that your dentist may need to perform include an oral cancer screening dye, which can help dentists see abnormal cells, and an oral cancer screening light, which helps dentists see abnormal tissue. Biopsies or additional oral cancer examination appointments are sometimes required as well to ensure your mouth is healthy.
How Often Should You Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
For young adults, screenings are typically performed every three years, while adults over the age of forty should get a screening done yearly, especially if they have any of the risk factors. At the Dental Center of Redondo Beach, our dentist has extensive experience and training in identifying and treating oral cancer.
Who Should Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
Everyone is a good candidate to get an oral cancer screening, but there are some people who have higher risk factors. Outside of those in their 20-30s, getting a screening once every three years, and anyone over 40 getting a screening annually, those who should get a screening include:
- Anyone who meets the risk factors for oral cancer, which includes heavy alcohol use, tobacco use of any kind, and if you have underlying diseases or health issues, such as HPV
- Those who have had abnormal oral cancer screenings in the past
- People who have a family history of cancer, including types of cancer that are not oral cancer
- Anyone who has signs or symptoms of oral cancer
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
There are many signs and symptoms of oral cancer that you should be aware of. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Never ignore any symptoms or pain.
Signs of oral cancer can be:
- Sores on your lip or in your mouth that do not heal
- Loose or sore teeth
- Pain in your ear or jaw
- White or red sores or patches in your mouth or on your lips
- Mouth or throat pain, especially when swallowing
Get Your Oral Cancer Screening at Redondo Beach Dental Center
At the Dental Center of Redondo Beach, we take your health seriously. Our dentist will perform a complete, thorough oral cancer screening to help make sure you stay healthy and safe. Schedule your appointment today and get your oral cancer screening.