Oral cancer is not something you necessarily think about as often as other oral hygiene issues.  Advertising always talk about plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath, so we all know what the signs are for those issues and how to treat them.  However, the issue of oral cancer is rarely brought up in the media, so we feel it is best to let our clientele know what is involved in an oral cancer exam and what makes them so crucial to your long term oral health and the health of your body over all.

Preparing for the Exam

If you have any sort of removable dentures, you will be asked to remove them before the exam.  This allows the doctor to be able to see all of the areas of the mouth with soft tissue without any dental appliances blocking the view.

Questions You’ll Be Asked

Every comprehensive exam involved asking the patient a few important questions about their health and habits.  Some of these questions include:

–          Have you noticed any changes in swallowing?

–          Do things seem to catch in your throat when you swallow?

–          Have you had any chronic hoarseness?

–          Have you felt any small lumps when touching the side of your neck, for instance, when you are shaving or putting on lotion?

–          Have you had persistent earaches on only one side of your head?

–          Have you or anyone else noticed a change in your voice?

Many of the afflictions asked about in these questions will be painless if they are indeed potential signs of oral cancer.  It is important that you are honest and forthcoming with your dentist when they give you the examination.  For more information on oral cancer exams or to schedule one yourself, visit Lancaster Dental today.