(616) 676-9177
(616) 676-9177

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral Cancer Screenings Near MeOral cancer is unfortunately more widespread than you might think, affecting approximately 54,000 people each year. Because of this, our Ada, MI, dentists stand by screenings as they are crucial when it comes to catching symptoms early on and treating them. Checking for oral cancer in our office is painless and involves both a visual and physical examination of the mouth. Here’s what else you should know about oral cancer screenings.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Most of the common oral cancer symptoms are obvious, but could be confused for other conditions. This is why it’s so important to alert both our dentists and your general doctor when something doesn’t seem right.

Be sure to keep an eye out for:

  • Lumps, bumps, swellings, or rough spots located on your lips, gums, cheek, or other inner parts of your mouth
  • White, red, or speckled patches in the mouth that are velvety in texture
  • Random, unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Sores on the face, neck, or mouth that easily bleed and don’t heal within a 2 week timeframe
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Jaw pain or swelling
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Risk Factors to Consider

Our dentists recommend that all patients receive an oral cancer screening at least once annually. However, you may want to come into our Ada, MI, dental office more often if you’re at increased risk for oral cancer.

Any of the following may put you at greater risk for developing oral cancer:

  • Smoking or use of other tobacco products
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Family history of cancer
  • Repeated sun exposure without SPF protection, especially on the lips
  • Age (over 55)
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Gender (men are twice as likely as women when it comes to oral cancer)

Ins and Outs of an Oral Cancer Screening

An oral cancer screening is quick and painless. Typically, it’s a part of your routine dental exam and consists of a visual and physical inspection. We’ll start by using gloved hands to gently feel for any suspicious lumps or tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and mouth. As for the visual portion, one of our dentists or hygienists will examine your mouth and double-check for any visible sores or discolored tissue. We’ll also keep an eye out for any of the symptoms mentioned above. If there is an area that demands more investigation, we may order a biopsy to determine whether cancer is present.

Get Screened Today

It’s not expected that you receive an oral cancer screening all the time, but our dentists in Ada, MI, encourage you to not ignore the process completely. Call Norman Family Dentistry today at (616) 676-9177 to request an appointment and get started.