Cancer that occurs in any part of the oral cavity is considered oral cancer. We divide oral cancer into two categories; those occurring in the oral cavity and those in the oropharynx (tonsils, tongue base, soft palate, and pharyngeal walls).

The significant genes involved in oral cancer are proto-oncogene and tumor suppressor genes.

What is an Oral Cancer Screening? 

Oral cancer screenings are exams performed by a doctor to look for signs and symptoms of cancer in the mouth. A clinical examination of the oral cavity is the primary screening test for oral cancer.

Many factors increase the risk of oral cancer; some of them include the following:

  • Tobacco use.
  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • A previous oral cancer diagnosis.
  • Increased cellular aging.
  • Spending too much sun exposure can increase the chances of getting cancer on your lips.
  • Hormone levels.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer? 

Early signs of oral cancer include:

  • Red or white patches.
  • Pain and numbness in mouth or lips.
  • Difficulty with chewing, swallowing and speaking.
  • Having difficulty moving your tongue or jaw.
  • A change in the way your teeth lie together when you close your mouth.

Preparation for screening

Oral cancer screenings are typically performed during a routine dental check-up. During an oral cancer screening exam, the dentist looks over the inside of your mouth to check for white or red patches. Some dentists will use additional tests during the screening.

They may involve oral cancer screening dye and oral cancer screening light.

Benefits of oral cancer screening

  • Through oral cancer screening, it is possible to detect the disease at an early stage. It will increase your chance of getting successful treatment.
  • It is far less expensive than it would be for the treatment of the disease.
  • The oral cancer screening process is simple and easy.

At the same time, the present oral cancer screening techniques have some limitations too. It can’t detect all mouth cancers – it is difficult to detect abnormal cells just by looking at your mouth, so there’s a chance for small cancer or precancerous lesions to go undetected.

Also, many people with signs of oral cancer can feel sores in their mouths. However, an oral exam can’t identify which sores are cancerous and which are not. The only way to identify whether or not they are cancerous is by removing some abnormal cells and testing them for a biopsy.

Oral cancer is a scary, painful, and dangerous disease that can take over your smile, affect your entire health, and can even result in death if left untreated. Inspire Smiles Dental offers oral cancer screening to help find cancer in the oral cavity at an early stage, thus saving lives.

Call us at 925.833.9500 or schedule an appointment online to know more about Oral Cancer Screening.

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