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A medical expert assessing a patient's oral X-Ray

When And Why An Oral Screening Is Necessary

Oral cancer is a major concern for doctors and medical professionals everywhere, especially given its alarming rise in the past few years. Experts believe this spread has to do with low public awareness, leading to the problem complicating by the time it is addressed.

Over the past few years, oral cancer screenings have also gained popularity. Advancements in technology have helped the field of medicine and doctors at large to assist patients and save lives due to early detection. Let’s look at what oral screening is and why it is necessary.

What Is An Oral Cancer Screening?

When you visit your Urgent Dental Care Near Me specialist for an oral screening, expect a complete examination of your mouth and throat which can last several minutes. Typically, a healthcare professional will use lights, dental mirrors, and tongue depressors to detect oral abnormalities. Ulcerations, various color patches, bumps, and many such symptoms are common in individuals with oral issues.

If your self-examination has shown any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical advice instantly.

A dentist performing an oral treatment on a patient

Diving Deeper Into Oral Screening

Oral screenings should be routine instead of something you do once in a while. Early detection of a tumor or cancer can save individuals from various complications and increase the chances of successful treatment. According to experts, adults over 20 should consider oral screenings once every three years. Once the 40-year mark is crossed, however, oral screenings should be annual.

Apart from the protocol mentioned above, oral examination areas include the mouth, teeth, gums, inner cheeks, and tonsils. Your dentist might also probe around the neck, jaw, and below the chin, where nodules are common. In case of any abnormalities, dentists use special dyes and lights to investigate further in any of the ways mentioned below:

  • Using laser lightingthat distinguishes abnormal tissue from normal tissue
  • Spraying blue toluidine dye that is absorbed by the area with abnormal tissue
  • Asking you to rinse your mouth using an acetic acid solution to re-examine the infected area further using a special light

Benefits of Oral Screening

The earlier you detect a tumor, the easier it is to treat it. Similarly, oral screenings help identify and end any oral malignant growth at the grassroots level. Here are a few benefits of regular oral screenings:

  • Easy to conduct

Oral screenings are quick, simple processes that do not need additional consultation. Often, you can request one during a routine dental checkup, and your dentist should be able to examine you.

  • Life-saving

A benign tumor takes a lesser toll on your health than fully-formed cancer. It is one thing to be suffering from a disease, but having your entire body fall victim to a tumor that could have been avoided from that start makes no sense.

  • Pocket-friendly

If you are a regular at your dentist’s clinic, you may know that an oral cancer screening does not cost extra. It can easily be part of your routine checkup since it requires no additional treatment.


If you have not had an oral screening in a while, this is your sign to get one. West Hills Smiles offers many such services for people living in the West Hills. Contact our team and book an appointment for our general or Emergency Dental Services West Hills. We offer a wide range of dental treatment plans and also book appointments at our clinic in California.

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