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Oral Cancer Screening

Dentist inspecting mouth with a mirror After you have had your teeth cleaned by the dentist, it is important to ask about an oral cancer screening. We all know that we should go to the dentist twice a year and brush our teeth, but many of us forget that regular checkups can help detect any signs of oral cancer, which has an almost 100% survival rate if detected early enough. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer affects more than 50,000 people in the United States and kills 8,000 people annually. This should tell you that oral cancer screening at least every year is essential. Here at Robert H. Peterson DDS, our dentist can perform oral cancer screening tests and provide the best treatments if they diagnose early signs of oral cancer.

Why Is Oral Cancer Dangerous?

With many cancers, early detection improves your odds of a full recovery. Unfortunately, oral cancer often has no symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage and spread into nearby tissue. Since oral cancer can start in either a major or minor salivary gland, any lump or swelling in your mouth that persists for more than two weeks should be checked by a doctor. Some of the risk factors of oral cancer include tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and heavy sun exposure. If you have been exposed to these factors for a long time, you should have an oral cancer screening to detect any cancerous tissues before it is too late.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

If you notice any suspicious lumps or bumps, come to the dentist to get them checked out. Most oral cancers start as small swellings, so any changes in your mouth or throat should be reported immediately. If caught early, oral cancer is highly treatable. However, if left unchecked, it can spread to other parts of your body and become life-threatening. It is best to know what signs and symptoms to look out for to catch it early enough so that treatment will be effective. Other common signs to look out for are trouble chewing and swallowing, redness around the mouth, pain in the face, bad breath, and white plaque. However, you should know some signs can come due to other oral issues, and this is why you should get the cancer screening to confirm.

How Do Dentists Diagnose Oral Cancer?

There are several ways to screen for oral cancer, including visual examinations and specialized testing. For example, the dentist might look at your mouth in a mirror to check for any suspicious lumps or other signs that something is wrong with your tissues. A specialized oral cancer screening test may include taking a biopsy, which is the removal of cells from inside your mouth and having it tested in the laboratory. Another common test is performing imaging tests such as x-rays. Remember that it is vital to see your doctor regularly. Getting into a habit of seeing the dentist every six months can help ensure early detection if you have cancer. The earlier you catch it, the better chance you have at beating it.

If you are ready for an oral cancer screening test, do not hesitate to visit our Robert H. Peterson DDS dental office. Book an appointment by calling us at 503-635-3438.
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16600 Boones Ferry Rd.
Suite 103
Lake Oswego, OR


Mon - Wed: 7:00am - 3:00pm
Thurs: 7:00am-1:00pm
Available for emergencies
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Oral Cancer Screening • Dentist Lake Oswego
Prioritize your oral health with regular oral cancer screenings in Lake Oswego. Early detection saves lives—schedule your screening today
Dr. Robert H. Peterson, DDS PC, 16600 Boones Ferry Rd Suite 103, Lake Oswego, OR 97035 \ 503-635-3438 \ \ 5/3/2024 \ Tags: dentist Lake Oswego OR \