Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Mouth Cancer Exam

A mouth cancer exam is part of your routine dental check-up and is painless and quick — it takes only a few minutes. Your regular dental check-up is an excellent opportunity to have the exam.

Here's what to expect:

1
Preparing for the exam: If you have dentures (plates), you will be asked to remove them.
2
Your health care provider will inspect your face, neck, lips and mouth to look for any signs of cancer. 
3
With both hands, your dentist will feel the area under your jaw and the side of your neck, checking for lumps that may suggest cancer.
4
Your dentist will then look at and feel the insides of you lips and cheeks to check for possible signs of cancer, such as red and/or white patches.
5
Next, the roof and back of your mouth will be examined.
6
You will then be asked to stick out your tongue so it can be checked for swelling, abnormal colour or texture. Using gauze, the dentist will gently pull your tongue to one side, then the other, to check the base of your tongue. The underside of your tongue will also be checked.
7
Finally, the dentist will put one finger on the floor of your mouth and the other hand under your chin, and will gently examine and palpate (press) to check for lumps or sensitivity.

You may be referred for further tests but there's no need to be alarmed - there are many possible explanations for a variety of symptoms. Please note you may be charged if referred on for further treatment.