The importance of regular oral cancer screening with your dentist or hygienist

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer refers to any cancer that occurs in the mouth. Mouth cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity, including the tongue, lips, cheeks, and throat.

What are the symptoms of mouth cancer?

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • No symptoms at all
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Changes in your bite when you close your mouth
  • White or red patches in the mouth
  • Lumps or sores in the mouth that will not heal

What happens if oral cancer goes untreated?

Treatment is highly recommended when cancerous cells are diagnosed in the oral cavity. Oral cancer has different stages that can impact the chances of successful treatment through excision, radiation or chemotherapy. The stage of the cancer determines the likelihood of success. If left untreated, oral cancer may spread to other parts of your body, like the lymph nodes and internal organs.

What happens during an oral cancer examination (screening)?

Screenings are fast and performed in the dentist’s chair in a matter of minutes. Our dentists and hygienists evaluate the inside of your mouth, lips and throat to look for any signs of cancer. They may palpate (feel) some areas to check for unusual lumps or other suspicious changes. 

Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of successful outcomes!

Visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleaning, check-ups and oral cancer screening ensures that any potential problem is handled immediately for the best possible results. If you are overdue for a professional clean or have yet to have an oral cancer screening performed, it is time to make an appointment at Red Hill Dental Practice on (03) 5907 5942.

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