Reliable Oral Cancer Screening in Somerville, MA

Oral cancer is a life-threatening condition that can affect anyone, especially those who smoke or consume alcohol regularly. It is estimated that over 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. Early detection and treatment are crucial for improving survival rates, making regular screenings vital to maintaining overall health.

Regular screenings are your best defense against oral cancer. Fortunately, Smile Dental Group in Somerville, MA, offers comprehensive oral cancer screening services, using advanced technology and methods to identify early signs of this disease.

What Is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screening is a preventative medical procedure that can identify early signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth. The primary goal of this screening is to detect oral cancer as early as possible—when there is a higher chance for a cure.

During the screening, a dentist or medical professional closely examines the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches, sores, and any other abnormalities. This examination includes the visible parts of your mouth, including the throat, the base of the tongue, and the tissues inside your mouth. 

Advanced screening methods may also involve using special lights, dyes, or other technologies to enhance the detection of abnormal cells or tissues. At Smile Dental Group in Somerville, MA, our team uses modern techniques to conduct oral cancer screenings, including visual and tactile inspections, ensuring no detail is overlooked.

What Is Involved in an Oral Cancer Screening?

Visual Inspection

The screening starts with a complete visual examination of the face, neck, lips, inside of the nose, and the oral cavity to look for signs of irregularities or symptoms of cancer.

Physical Examination

Following the visual inspection, a physical exam is conducted. The dentist will palpate (feel) the head, cheeks, around the jaw, under the chin, and inside the oral cavity for any unusual masses or nodules.

Use of Special Equipment

Some screenings may include using special lights or dyes that help highlight abnormal cells or tissues that are not visible under normal light.

Oral Health History Review

A critical part of the screening includes discussing the patient’s oral health history, including any past issues or risk factors related to oral cancer.

Discussion About Symptoms

Finally, the dentist will ask if the patient has experienced any symptoms or noticeable changes in the mouth, throat, or neck area. The discussion could include sores that do not heal, prolonged sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or changes in the voice.

Early Signs of Oral Cancer

Some of the early signs of oral cancer include:
  • A sore that does not heal within two weeks
  • A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of the mouth
  • White or reddish patches inside the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Persistent sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • Numbness of the tongue or another area of the mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Change in voice or hoarseness.

    Remember that these symptoms may be attributable to other, less serious conditions. However, if you notice signs persisting for over two weeks, you should seek evaluation from Smile Dental Group in Somerville, MA.

Tips to Avoid Oral Cancer

Quit Smoking and Tobacco Use

Tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco, are among the leading risk factors for oral cancer. Quitting tobacco reduces your risk significantly.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption is another major risk factor for oral cancer. You should limit your alcohol intake to moderate levels.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can prevent oral cancer by maintaining a healthy oral environment and early detection of any abnormal changes.

Protect Yourself from HPV

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to certain types of oral cancers. Getting vaccinated against HPV and practicing safe sex can reduce your risk.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants can bolster your body’s defenses against oral cancer.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants can bolster your body's defenses against oral cancer.

Don’t wait for symptoms to alert you. Your health is invaluable, and early detection of symptoms is key to combating oral cancer. At Smile Dental Group in Somerville, MA, we’re committed to providing thorough and compassionate care during your oral cancer screening. 

Remember, it's not just about detecting disease; it's about giving yourself peace of mind and taking a proactive step toward maintaining your overall wellness. Contact us today to schedule your screening.

Scroll to Top