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Oral Cancer Screening

Smiling dental patient sitting in dental chairYou may not be aware of it, but our dentists actually screen you for oral cancer nearly - if not every time - you come into our office for a routine cleaning and checkup. This fact alone makes scheduling your regular dental cleanings as important as ever. Oral cancer may not always be immediately evident with symptoms, so allowing our team at Bravo Smile to do an examination for oral cancer is especially beneficial, especially if you believe you are at high risk.

What Is Oral Cancer, and Who Is at Risk?

Oral cancer is divided into two categories based on where it appears in your body. One category involves cancers of the throat and the base of the tongue, while the other category involves all other cancers that may occur in the front part of your mouth, including your teeth, gums, the front of your tongue, and the floor and roof of your mouth. Symptoms include sores or irritation that does not recede, red or white patches, numbness, pain, or tenderness in the mouth and cheeks, and lumps or rough patches that were not present before. People with oral cancer may also experience a sore throat or difficulty swallowing, difficulty speaking, or their teeth might not fit together as equally as they did previously.

According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer presents more in men than in women, and people who use tobacco are at a higher risk for developing oral cancer than those who do not. Studies have shown that adults who are over 50 and smoke or drink excessive alcohol are at the highest risk. The human papillomavirus, or HPV, can also present a high risk of developing oral cancer.

What Happens at an Oral Cancer Screening?

During a routine cleaning, our dentists will use their hands and eyes to give you a simple oral cancer screening. We will ask you about any symptoms you may be having, or changes in your medical history. We will examine the inside of your mouth, your throat, and your tongue to look for any signs of irregular cells. Then we will also feel your neck and jaw in specific places to look for any abnormalities. If our professionals find something in this screening that they are concerned about, we will recommend you for a future reexamination or further testing.

Further testing may involve dye or collecting your cells for more extensive viewing. If the dye method is used, you will rinse with a specific dye that will adhere to abnormal cells in your mouth, making them easily visible using ultraviolet light or the naked eye, depending on the type of dye used. It is also possible that your cells will be collected so they can be viewed under a microscope to determine whether they are cancerous cells.

If you believe you are at higher risk for developing oral cancer, or if you are having anyquestionable symptoms surrounding your oral health, our team at Bravo Smilewould like to help you. Please call us today at (971) 441-5987 to schedule your checkup or discuss your concerns. We want the best for your oral health!

Contact Us

Bravo Smile
5100 S. Macadam Avenue, Suite 160
Portland, OR 97239
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Oral Cancer Screening in Portland, OR
Bravo Smile, 5100 S. Macadam Avenue, Suite 160, Portland, OR 97239 ^ (971) 441-5987 ^ ^ 7/11/2024 ^ Page Keywords: Dentist Portland OR ^