How to Perform an at Home Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer is a serious health concern that affects thousands of Americans every year and if left untreated, can become deadly. However, routine oral cancer screenings can help detect the concern before it advances to more serious stages. With proper treatment and timely care, oral cancer can be treated and health restored. Most dental professions will perform routine screenings for oral cancer or other oral pathology concerns during regular dental checkups, but these can often be months in between each other. Because of the length of time many patients go before their next dental appointment, performing at home oral cancer screenings can help give you an idea if you should seek immediate help or not.  
Symptoms of Oral Cancer Growth
  • Oral sores that do not heal and bleed easily
  • Lumps or thick skin on the inside of the mouth
  • Reddish or white patches inside the mouth
  • Pain or difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat
How to Perform an at Home Self-Examination When at home, it is recommended to perform a self-examination at least every month. You will want to look for changes around the lips, cheeks, palate, and gums. Oral cancer or other concerns do not always cause pain, so even small discolorations can mean something is wrong. You should evaluate the symmetry of your face and look for imbalances or irregularities. Unusual lumps or swelling should be a concern. When looking inside the mouth, examine the soft tissues for unusual colors and textures of the tissue. If you notice any patches, rashes, discoloration, or lumps, it may be time to visit your doctor. It is best not to ignore any suspicious lumps or coloration in your mouth as catching oral cancer early leads to the best chances for successful treatment.  
Schedule an Appointment
If you’d like a professional opinion of your oral health, reach out to your local dentist, William F. Lane, D.M.D. and William M. Lane MD, DMD, MBA, in our office in Plymouth, MA and set up a consultation.

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