Screening & Testing: Oral Screening (88, 89)

What is an Oral Screening

oral mouth cancer screening

Oral cancer may not be as high profile as other types of cancers, but that does not mean it is any less deadly. Early detection has been shown to increase the survival rate of oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings can truly save lives. The screening should be conducted as part of regular dental cleanings.

Screening Methods: 

An oral cancer examination is fast and painless. There is an extensive protocol screening procedure established by the Oral Cancer Foundation. Its objective is to identify small changes in the lining tissues of the mouth, lips, cheeks, the roof of the mouth, under the tongue, behind wisdom teeth, throat and tongue that may signify the early stages of cancer. The screening is primarily a visual and tactile (touch) examination inside of your mouth, including a check for red or white patches or unusual sores. You may be palpated (pressed with fingers) to detect the presence of lumps and swellings, and your tongue may be gently pulled aside for a better view. The doctor may use a special light, dye or other procedure to check any areas that look suspect. If anything appears to be out of the ordinary, a biopsy or thorough diagnostic testing will be performed.


Brush your teeth before an oral cancer examination. Also, make sure that you have eliminated all residuals from food and candy leaving a dye color in your mouth.

Watch this video to see what happens during an oral cancer screening.


Each time you have your teeth cleaned at the dentist; no less than once a year.

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