Oral Cancer Screenings in Annandale, VA
Get peace of mind with early detection in Annandale Smiles.
Preventative Checks for Oral Cancer
Mouth cancer screenings help detect early symptoms and problems.
Do you have an abnormality inside or outside the mouth you’re worried about? Are you at an increased risk of mouth or neck cancer? Your local dentist in Annandale, VA at Annandale Smiles performs an oral cancer screening at each regular appointment to help keep you healthy.
During the quick and comfortable exam, our dentist looks for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions of the mouth and neck. It’s much easier to remove lesions or abnormal growths when they’re smaller. But most importantly, early detection helps save lives and improves your standard of living.
Factors that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:
Your oral health affects your entire whole-body health. So while you may know to brush and floss, it’s also important to pay attention to any abnormal changes of the mouth or neck.
An oral cancer screening at Annandale Smiles in Annandale, VA helps find any problems you might miss.
- Step 1 During your regular visit to the dentist, our doctor reviews your medical and dental history to see if you’re at greater risk of developing oral cancer. If applicable, we openly discuss your risk factors and ways to prevent disease.
- Step 2 With no prep typically required, our dentist checks your mouth, throat, and neck for signs of oral cancer. We check for discoloration, sores, lumps, lesions, or abnormal growths. If you wear dentures, we’ll remove them before the exam.
- Step 3 If there’s anything of concern, please don’t panic. We may keep an eye on it and have you come in for a follow-up or request a biopsy for further testing. The biopsy takes a sample of the area’s cells to see if they’re cancerous or not. Oftentimes, we will refer you to an oral surgeon for this procedure.
While we understand the topic of cancer is stressful to even think about, we encourage you to come in for your routine exam and screening. Our dental practice in Annandale, VA truly cares about your health and offers a comfortable, relaxing environment for an anxiety-free visit.
- How do you screen for oral cancer? Our dentist at Annandale Smiles in Annandale, VA screens for oral cancer during your regular dental exam.
We check the inside and outside of your mouth for signs of abnormal cell growth, plus examine the neck. Mouth cancer may present itself in the lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth, and palate.
Some signs of oral cancer may include:
If you experience any of the above symptoms, please contact our dentist. While we perform mouth and neck cancer screenings at each routine appointment, it’s best to have your symptoms reviewed by a professional as soon as possible.
- Should I be screened for oral cancer? Yes, everyone should be screened for oral cancer. It’s easy to do, fast, and painless. Your dentist typically performs an oral cancer screening in five minutes or less.
While you visit the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and oral cancer screenings, you can also stay proactive and keep an eye out for unusual patches, sores, or lumps of the mouth or neck.
If you see anything of concern, please schedule an appointment to double-check this and determine if you need further testing. Early oral cancer detection helps improve the chances of successful treatment to help save lives!
- Can a dentist diagnose oral cancer? A dentist looks for abnormalities in the mouth region but doesn’t diagnose oral cancer.
To determine if a suspicious area is cancerous, a specialist performs a biopsy. This involves taking a sample of the area’s tissue and examining it closely.
- Would a dentist notice throat cancer? A dentist may help find early signs of throat cancer because some signs are visible to the trained eye (such as lumps).
Meanwhile, other signs of throat cancer are less obvious. These symptoms include changes in how you speak or swallow, soreness, hoarseness, ear pain, and weight loss.
If you have any of the above symptoms, please let your dentist or doctor know, and we’ll recommend the next best steps for cancer screening and follow-up. We’ll first look at common causes of your symptoms, so please don’t panic.
We’re here to help you prevent oral health problems and can answer any additional questions during the exam.
- Where are oral cancers most commonly found? According to cancer.netOpens a new window to the cancer.net website, the most common head and neck cancers are found in the oral cavity and oropharynx.
The oral cavity includes the lips, cheeks, gums, front of the tongue, mouth floor, mouth roof, and the small area behind your wisdom teeth. Meanwhile, the oropharynx is the region beyond the oral cavity, including the back of the mouth, part of the throat, tonsils, and tongue base.
Our dentist in Annandale, VA checks these regions for signs of cancer during each oral cancer screening using a safe, comfortable, and noninvasive approach.