An annual screening for oral cancer is important. It is possible that you will notice some change in your mouth or throat that needs examination between your annual screenings. Always contact your doctor or dentist immediately if you notice the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one:
- A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks.
- A lump or thickening in the cheek.
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth.
- A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat.
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue.
- Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
- Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.
Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are trained in this simple, quick screening, which involves the examination of the oral cavity as a whole and not just your teeth. after a visual examination of all the tissues in your mouth, our staff will feel the floor of your mouth and portions of the back of your throat, in the search for abnormalities. We will also check the mouth for white patches, red patches, ulcerations, lumps, loose teeth, and review your dental x-rays for abnormalities. telling your doctor about tobacco use. Tobacco use is implicated in more than 75% of all oral cancers.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores, and please contact us to schedule an appointment.