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Oral cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease that affects millions of people worldwide. However, early detection can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment and recovery. That’s why oral cancer screenings are so important. In Shoreline, Washington, there are several dental clinics that offer oral cancer screenings. Here’s what you need to know about oral cancer screening in Shoreline.

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in the mouth, throat, or other areas of the head and neck. It can develop in the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and other parts of the mouth. Oral cancer can be caused by a variety of factors, including tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV).

What is an oral cancer screening?

An oral cancer screening is a simple and painless exam that is performed by a dental professional. During the screening, the dentist or hygienist will examine your mouth and throat for signs of oral cancer. This may include a visual examination, palpation of the tissues in your mouth, and the use of special tools to detect abnormalities that may be invisible to the naked eye.

Who should get an oral cancer screening?

Everyone should get an oral cancer screening on a regular basis, but some people may be at a higher risk than others. If you use tobacco products, consume alcohol regularly, have a family history of oral cancer, or have been exposed to HPV, you may be at an increased risk of developing oral cancer and should be screened more frequently.

What happens during an oral cancer screening?

During an oral cancer screening, the dental professional will examine your mouth, throat, and neck for any signs of abnormalities or cancerous growths. They may also ask you about any symptoms you may be experiencing, such as difficulty swallowing or a persistent sore throat.

If any abnormalities are detected, the dental professional may recommend further testing or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.

Benefits of oral cancer screening

The benefits of oral cancer screening include:

  1. Early detection: Oral cancer screenings can detect cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable.
  2. Peace of mind: Regular oral cancer screenings can give you peace of mind knowing that you are taking proactive steps to protect your health.
  3. Improved outcomes: Early detection and treatment of oral cancer can greatly improve treatment outcomes and increase the chances of successful recovery.
  4. Prevention: Regular oral cancer screenings can help detect precancerous lesions or abnormalities before they develop into cancer.

Dr. Lee and Lora, our hygienist, perform oral cancer screenings in Shoreline, WA on every patient. If you are concerned about your oral condition, contact our office today for an appointment.