Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer, or cancer of the mouth, is the largest group of head and neck cancers. It refers to cancers that affect your lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, palate, and back of the mouth near the entrance of your throat. Untreated oral cancer can be fatal. Early detection is key for stopping cancer in its tracks and restoring the health of your mouth and your quality of life. At Dental Arts of Frederick, we can detect the early stages of oral cancer with an oral cancer screening.
Am I at Risk for Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer can affect anyone. There are, however, certain factors that can increase your risk. Common risk factors for oral cancer include:
What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
The earliest stages of oral cancer are very difficult to detect. You might never know that there is anything wrong. For this reason, early stages of oral cancer often go unnoticed. By the time symptoms are noticeable, oral cancer has worsened and may have begun to spread, making it harder to treat. Symptoms of oral cancer include:
How is an Oral Cancer Screening Done?
Oral cancer screenings are performed during your routine dental exams. You may not even know that we are looking for symptoms of this disease. As we look over your teeth and gums checking for tooth damage, decay, cavities, and gum disease, we also scan over the soft tissues in your mouth. We look for anything unusual, including growths, lesions, or other abnormal patches. We will also assess the alignment of your teeth and your bite. The entire screening is quick and completely painless.
What if an Abnormality is Found?
If we do find something unusual, you will be recommended for a closer examination. During this exam, we focus on the abnormality. We note its size, shape, and border. X-rays or other images of your mouth are taken. A soft tissue biopsy may also be recommended. This is a procedure that involves removing a small portion of the abnormality so that the tissue can be more closely examined under a microscope.
The tissue can be seen on the cellular level, allowing us to note the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells. If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, it may be recommended that the abnormality be removed. If necessary, you will also be recommended for further treatment.
Regular oral cancer screenings are essential for the early detection of oral cancer. For more information and to schedule your next dental exam, contact Dental Arts of Frederick today at 301-732-7277.
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Providing prosthodontic and dental care in Frederick, Maryland, and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington DC.