About 50,000 people in the United States get oral cancer each year. While getting any type of cancer is scary, fortunately oral cancer is largely curable if caught early! Regular oral cancer screenings are essential for early detection and treatment.
When Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
Whenever a dentist performs a routine dental exam, they check for anything unusual in and around your mouth, such as on your gums, tongue, the roof of your mouth, and the insides of your cheeks. Most people should get at least one oral cancer screening a year, but at least two oral cancer screenings a year are a good idea if you’re at a higher risk.
What Are the Warning Signs of Oral Cancer?
Let us know if you notice any of these red flags:
- A lump in your mouth or neck
- Mouth sores that don’t heal
- Mouth or jaw swelling
- Pain in your mouth, face, or ears
- Difficulty moving your tongue
- Difficulty swallowing
Who Can Get Oral Cancer?
Certain people, such as men and people with a family history of oral cancer, are at higher risk of developing oral cancer and should get more frequent screenings. We recommend that patients who fit in any of the following categories should also get more regular screenings, as well as make appropriate lifestyle changes:
- People who use tobacco products
- Heavy drinkers
- People who get a lot of sun exposure on their face
Oral Cancer Screenings at Southwest Smiles in Austin, TX
Oral cancer screenings are painless and quick! We’ll check your gums, cheeks, tongue, and the rest of your mouth for issues like lumps, sores, and white or red patches. When you visit us, Dr. Chittajallu and her team can perform an oral cancer screening and discuss any concerns you have about your oral health. If we notice anything unusual, we may recommend further tests (like a biopsy) to be sure.
If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact us today!