Oral Cancer Screening Provides Early Detection


Signs of oral cancer can often be hard to detect in the early stages. Its subtle symptoms can sneak up on patients, sometimes causing life-threatening damage to their overall health. Luckily, the survival rate increases significantly when the disease is caught early, usually through a routine oral cancer screening. At every preventative dental procedure, Dr. Hart examines each patient’s gums, mouth, tongue, neck, and head for possible signs of oral cancer. 

Keep reading to learn more about how regular oral cancer screening at Sweet Hart Dental can protect your health and potentially save your life in our helpful guide.


Important Statistics

These statistics from the American Cancer Society will shed more light on oral cancer and the people it affects.

  • In 2019, about 53,000 people will get oral cancer.
  • About 20% of those, 10,860 people, will die from the disease
  • The death rate has been decreasing for 30 years, partially due to screenings.
  • The average age of people diagnosed with oral cancer is 62.

Common Causes of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can occur for a wide variety of reasons, but the following conditions are common among sufferers of the disease:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Excessive sun exposure on your lips
  • The presence of a sexually transmitted virus called HPV

Symptoms to Look Out For

Dr. Hart knows all of the subtle signs to look for in an oral cancer screening, but if you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the mouth
  • Ear discomfort and pain
  • A visible lump inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Sores in the mouth that don’t heal

CancerWhere Does Oral Cancer Develop?

Oral cancer sneaks up on the sufferer, mainly because the early symptoms may be difficult to detect or easy to ignore. The disease can develop on the lips, tongue, gums, inner tissue of the cheeks, under the tongue, or roof of the mouth. This is why an oral cancer screening from Dr. Hart is so important — it can occur in a wide variety of places that may be difficult to see by yourself.

What to Expect From Your Oral Cancer Screening

Considering how vital it is, oral cancer screenings are remarkably quick and simple. Dr. Hart will simply conduct a thorough exam, searching for the key signs of oral cancer. She’ll inspect your mouth, head, and neck, and ultimately, you’ll leave our office knowing that you’re free from the problem, or are in need of treatment. Although it takes a short time, the screening is extremely important, and a standard part of your dental exam at Sweet Hart Dental.

Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Lives

Oral cancer can sneak up on people. Its symptoms are often subtle, and many patients don’t know what to look for or where. Oral cancer screening at our Pembroke Pines dental office helps us detect oral cancer before it progresses too far.

Call ((954) 799-4992 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your appointment with our top dentist in Pembroke Pines, FL.

Dentists should always examine patients, including young ones, for abnormal conditions during routine checkups. It’s important for adults over the age of 18 to get regular oral cancer screenings, especially those who use tobacco or consume alcohol excessively. People with a family history of oral or other types of cancer and those with oral precancerous lesions or other risk factors should also be regularly screened. Speak with your dentist about your concerns with your oral health during your biannual dental cleaning and checkup.

No, oral cancer screening doesn’t involve any pain. It’s a general exam where the dentist looks at the surfaces of your mouth, including your gums, cheeks, and tongue. Dentists perform this routine service and can even screen for oral cancer while simultaneously looking at your teeth for cavities or gums for periodontitis.

Patients should be screened for oral cancer every six months at routine dental checkups. This checkup allows dentists to catch any signs of oral cancer before they progress into more life-threatening conditions. Your dentist may recommend you visit for oral cancer screenings more often if you’re at a higher risk of developing oral cancer due to factors like lifestyle or family history.

While oral cancer screenings are preliminary evaluation tools used to identify any suspicious changes or growths in the mouth, a biopsy is necessary to confirm the presence of cancer and identify the type. However, early detection is still important and can lead to better treatment outcomes, so dentists recommend regular oral cancer screenings.