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What to Look for When Doing an Oral Cancer Self-Exam


Posted on 9/15/2019 by Pacific Oral and Facial Surgery Center
What to Look for When Doing an Oral Cancer Self-ExamOne of the most important aspects of good oral health is performing self-examinations. These examinations can help spot problems before they become worse. They can help you get professional help in the early stages. One of the self-exams to do is for oral cancer. Knowing what to do and what to look for is the best way to spot potential problems with oral cancer.

How to Perform a Self-Exam

There are several steps to performing an oral cancer self-exam. It involves more than just looking in your mouth. The first place to start is around the face and neck. Use your hands to feel around for any unusual bumps or something that feels out of place. Go around the jaw junction, your gullet, your chin under your jaw, the side of your neck and your clavicle.

Once you have checked these areas, you can then focus on your cheeks, teeth and gums inside of your mouth. You can do this by feeling for any lumps or swollen areas. You can also inspect these areas using a mirror to look for any redness, white spots, discoloration or something else that seems out of the ordinary that requires a closer look in our office.

The areas to check in the mouth include the lips, cheeks, gums, teeth, palate and tongue. Look and feel for bumps, patchy areas and uneven texture, especially on the tongue.

Why Do It?
A good self-exam does not take long, and you can do it as often as you want, but should do it at least once a month. The sooner you spot problems the sooner you can find out what the problem is and what you need to do about it. No one should ignore the importance of self-exams and should include them in their oral hygiene routine. If you would like more information about self-exams, or other oral health issues, call us and schedule an appointment to come in and talk with us.


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The surgical specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery requires up to six additional years of hospital based surgical and anesthesia training beyond dental school.
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