No single oral exam or oral cancer screening test is proven to reduce the risk of dying of oral cancer. But, did you know that in our office, Dr Mastrovich and our Escondido dental hygiene team screen for oral cancer during all dental and dental hygiene appointments.
During the oral exam, Dr Mastrovich and our hygienists look over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores. Using gloved hands, they will also feel the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities. In addition to checking inside the mouth, they also palpate the outside of the face and the neck area to check for lumps, bumps, or any abnormalities
Many people have abnormal sores in their mouths, with the great majority being noncancerous and an oral exam can’t determine which sores are cancerous and which are not.
If by chance we do find an unusual sore, further testing may be suggested to determine its cause. The only way to definitively determine whether it is oral cancer is to remove some abnormal cells and test them for cancer in a procedure called a biopsy.
You will be pleased to know that the American Dental Association recommends all adults undergo periodic oral exams when they visit the dentist. The American Cancer Society recommends discussing oral cancer screening, as well, when you visit your dentist. We all have your best interests at heart and strive to keep you as healthy as possible.