Oral cancer exam

Do You Need an Oral Cancer Exam?

One of the biggest dangers of oral cancer is that it can grow before you notice any signs. The American Cancer Association reports over 50,000 cases of oral cancer every year, and nearly 20% of people diagnosed do not survive. Regular oral cancer exams by a dentist will catch subtle diagnostic signs and help identify oral cancer. The earlier you identify oral cancer, the easier it is to treat. The dentists at McDonogh Dental Associates will perform an oral cancer exam as part of your routine check-up and recare appointment.

Should I Consider an Oral Cancer Exam?

Three out of four cases of oral cancer involve specific behaviors, including tobacco use and alcohol abuse. However, oral cancer can develop without either of these risk factors.  Oral cancer is often painless. The following  warning signs can indicate a possibility of oral cancer:
  • Red patches or red sores on the front or sides of the tongue and soft tissue which don’t heal
  • Leukoplakia, or white lesions in the mouth which don’t heal
  • Sore or thick lumps in the throat or mouth
An oral cancer exam is non-invasive and painless, leaving no reason not to have one. We strongly recommend consulting your dentist for an oral cancer exam if you observe any unusual symptoms like these.
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What Can I Expect from an Oral Cancer Exam?

Don’t worry – it is painless and consists of a visual and tactile exam by your dentist to evaluate for the presence or absence of any indicative signs outlined above. If your dentist has any concerns, they will generally recommend a follow-up visit for re-evaluation in 2-4 weeks and a referral to an oral surgeon for further consultation and biopsy,  if necessary Do you have unexplained symptoms like sores or lumps in your mouth? Contact McDonogh Dental at 410-363-2500 to discuss whether you could benefit from an oral cancer exam. McDonogh Dental is a full-service dental clinic serving Owings Mills, MD, and the surrounding areas. We offer preventive services like dental exams, cleanings, and X-rays, and cosmetic services such as dental implants, ceramic crowns and bridges, teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, Invisalign, and night guards.