Oral Cancer Screening

Santa Monica Bay Dental

Dentists located in Santa Monica, CA

Every year, approximately 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer, but with early detection, your chances of survival are good. To make sure you live a long and healthy life, Santa Monica Bay Dental, located in Santa Monica, California, offers oral cancer screenings with every exam. Santa Monica Bay Dental, located in metropolitan Los Angeles, cares about you. To learn more or to book an appointment, reach out online or over the phone today.

Oral Cancer Screening Q & A

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth area, also known as the oral cavity. It can include cancer of the sinuses, mouth floor, lips, cheeks, throat, sinuses, tongue, and/or hard and soft palate.

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Ear pain and/or mouth pain
  • Mouth or lip sores that bleed easily and don’t heal within two weeks
  • Reddish or white patches inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Unexplained, persistent mouth bleeding
  • Unexplained loss of feeling or tenderness/pain in the face or mouth
  • A growth or lump inside your mouth
  • Difficulty or pain with swallowing
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, moving the jaw, moving the tongue, or speaking
  • Chronic sore throat
  • A change in voice
  • Unintended weight loss
  • A change in your tooth or denture bite

The earlier you detect oral cancer, the better. So, if you notice any of these symptoms, reach out to the practice for an oral cancer screening.

What happens during an oral cancer screening?

Santa Monica Bay Dental performs oral cancer screenings during any routine dental cleaning or exam. During the exam, the team checks your mouth for mouth sores and red or white patches. 

They then feel the tissues inside your mouth to make sure you don’t have any lumps or other abnormalities. Finally, they examine your neck and throat for lumps.

If your team notices any signs of oral cancer, they schedule you a follow-up visit, during which they check to see if the growth or other abnormality has grown or changed or is still present. 

If so, they perform a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure during which your team removes sample cells from the affected area and sends them to the lab for testing.

Why are oral cancer screenings important?

Oral cancer screenings are quick and easy, and they allow your dental team to detect and diagnose cancer and other oral diseases at the earliest possible stage.

This greatly increases your chances of successful treatment and recovery, since many people don’t notice the symptoms of oral cancers until they’ve progressed to an advanced stage. Untreated, oral cancer can be life-threatening.

Be proactive in your health. To schedule an oral cancer screening with Santa Monica Bay Dental, call the office or use the online booking tool today.