Six Steps of an Oral Cancer Screening

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Oral cancer can be particularly dangerous because early stages of it usually do not present any symptoms (that you can feel) and you may not be aware of it until it has reached more a more advanced stage. This is why oral cancer screenings at the dentist office are so important.

Step 1: Tongue ‘n Gauze

This step will require you to stick your tongue out as far as it can go. The dentist will examine the sides and underside for white and red patches and feel your tongue for lumps. The tongue is the most common site of oral cancer in non-smokers.

Step 2: Lip and cheek roll

Next, your dentist (with a gloved hand) will feel for bumps or lumps along the lips and cheeks as well as look for white or red areas that should not be there.

Step 3: Double-digit probe

The floor of your mouth will be examined from the top and bottom at the same time to detect lumps and white and red patches.

Step 4: Palate tickle

The roof of your mouth will then be checked for lumps and areas of softness on the hard palate. Your dentist will continue to look for white and red patches.

Step 5: Neck caress

Because enlarged lymph nodes are a possible sign of infection or something more serious, your neck will be checked for abnormalities.

Step 6: Tonsil check (“Say ah”)

Your tongue will be depressed with a dental mirror to allow your dentist to examine your tonsils for symmetry, enlargement, redness, or unusual bumps.

Be sure to keep up with regular visits to the dentist in order to maintain your oral health.