Oral Cancer: How Often Should You Be Screened

Published On: March 6, 2023
Do you know how often you should be screened for oral cancer? If not, it’s time to brush up on the importance of regular screening exams. Certain lifestyle and environmental influences can put us at an increased risk of developing this condition, making each individual’s experience unique. In today’s blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what’s involved in effective early detection and diagnosis efforts; as well as best practices when it comes to preventative care. By taking proactive steps now, people are empowered to make smarter decisions about their health – increasing the odds of healthier outcomes in years to come. 

When it comes to oral cancer screenings, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends adults receive an exam every three years. Of course, if you’re at an especially high risk for this condition due to lifestyle choices, then more frequent exams may be necessary. For instance, individuals who frequently consume large amounts of alcohol or tobacco are encouraged to ask their dentist about receiving screenings every six months. 

During your exam, a qualified dentist will look over each part of your mouth and tongue – checking for any suspicious lesions or bumps that could signify something is wrong. If they do find anything out of the ordinary, they can proceed with further testing as needed. This testing often includes taking a tissue sample from the area in question; which is then sent off to a lab for further evaluation. 

In relation, early symptoms of oral cancer are often difficult to detect, as they may mimic other common oral health issues. That is why it is important to pay attention to any changes that occur in your mouth and seek medical attention if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Common warning signs of oral cancer include sores that bleed easily or do not heal; white or red patches on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth; lumps or thickening inside or around the mouth; difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw; a change in your bite; an unexplained numbness in the face, neck or mouth area; pain in one ear without hearing loss.

Finally, it’s important to note that preventative care matters just as much as early diagnosis. That means brushing and flossing regularly; avoiding tobacco and alcohol in excess; eating a balanced diet; and seeing your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings. All these steps will help you better understand your own health – giving you an edge when it comes to taking on any potential challenges that may come up down the road. 

So how often should you be screened for oral cancer? The answer depends on an individual’s lifestyle and risk factors, but at minimum, the ADA recommends adults receive an exam every three years. By taking proactive steps now, everyone can increase the odds of healthier outcomes in years to come. 

Remember: the key to living a longer, healthier life is all about staying informed and taking preventative measures. We all have the power to make smarter decisions about our health – so why not get started today? Here at Renova Smiles, we strive to provide our patients with the best and most comprehensive care possible; contact us today and let us handle your healthcare needs. Together we can make sure that you receive the screening process you need, ensuring that early detection and treatment for oral cancer can be properly addressed as soon as possible.