Oral Cancer Screenings
At Glenpool Dentistry, Dr. Tyson Roulston provides regular oral cancer screenings to all patients. They are designed to detect mouth cancer in the earliest possible stages to help give patients the best chance of survival.
What does oral cancer screening involve?
We visually inspect your mouth to look for any lumps or lesions. Next, Dr. Roulston will use their fingers to check for any small lumps in your cheeks or along your gums, as these aren’t always visible during a visual check.
Our oral cancer screening will help Dr. Roulston identify any abnormalities in the mucosal tissues of your mouth, lips, and throat. It can also help to identify and assess your overall levels of oral health.
More About the Visual Oral Cancer Examination
During this visual examination, Dr. Roulston will observe your neck, face, lips, cheeks, jaw, and potentially the inside of your nose. They are specifically looking for patches of color, swelling, abnormalities, asymmetries, or ulcerations.
Typically, a visual, oral cancer examination will be done with a mirror and a light. A tongue depressor may also be used to help hold your tongue down.
More About the Physical Oral Cancer Examination
After the visual examination, Dr. Roulston will then perform their physical exam. They will touch your neck, face, and mouth in order to feel for any masses, abnormalities, or unusual nodules. This tactile inspection will allow them to find anything that is undetectable by sight. Although symptoms of oral cancer can, on occasion, be painful, in its earliest stages, it is often painless.
Dr. Roulston may also use any number of specialist devices to help them with their oral screening. These will most commonly include:
- An oral brush biopsy that can remove any cells for further testing.
- A mouth rinse that can help with a visual inspection of the tissues of your mouth.
- In some cases, an advanced oral assessment system tool that can help to detect any suspect oral tissues through the use of a fluorescent light.
An oral cancer screening is a precautionary check. As such, it’s important to make sure you attend any routine hygiene appointments and check-ups; early detection is essential.
Can I check for oral cancer at home?
It is possible to check for oral cancer at home. To do this, you will need to place your index finger against your inner cheek. Then, place your thumb on the outside of your cheek. Next, between your finger and thumb, you should roll your cheek to check for any lumps or any areas that feel tender. If you do find any tender spots or lumps, then you should immediately call Dr. Roulston to make an appointment to see them.
How often should I get oral cancer screening?
As a minimum, oral cancer screening should be done at least once a year by a dental professional.
If you would like to book an oral cancer screening appointment at Glenpool Dentistry, please contact our team today to discuss when is best for you to attend.