September 5, 2017

There are many reasons to regularly visit your periodontist, including procedures that maintain and prevent oral diseases. An oral cancer screening is a fairly standard preventative procedure included in routine dental visits. Dr. Kovacs at Pinnacle Implants & Periodontics includes routine screenings for most patients. Before you go for your general checkup, there a few things to know about this procedure.

Why It Is Done

One of the main reasons to incorporate an oral cancer screening as a routine procedure is that early identification generally leads to a better prognosis. As with many screening tools, it has its limitations. Most initial screenings are visual, and that does not always identify all potential cancer cells. If your periodontist sees something abnormal, you will need to undergo additional tests, which might include a biopsy.

Risks of Oral Cancer

There are a few factors that increase your risk of developing oral cancer. If that is the case, then you might require more regular screenings. These include:

  • History of cancer, especially oral cancer
  • Any type of tobacco use, such as pipes, cigars, cigarettes and chewing tobacco
  • High consumption of alcohol
  • Excessive sun exposure

Signs of Oral Cancer

It is important to recognize the signs of oral cancer. Although some of these symptoms are quite common, if any persist for more than two weeks, you need to schedule an appointment for a screening. These include:

  • A persistent sore
  • Patches that are white or red
  • Lumps or rough spots
  • Problems with swallowing, chewing, speaking or moving your tongue
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness in the mouth or lips
  • Sudden alterations to the way in which your teeth fit together

What Happens During a Screening

The screening starts with a visual exam of the mouth, face, lips, neck and inside of the nose. Then, there will be a physical exam during which the periodontist feels for anything that might be unusual. Generally, the tools used include light, tongue depressors and mirrors. However, some places also use specialized examining tools.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kovacs for an oral cancer screening in Longview, TX and start your journey towards good oral health!



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