Ever wonder what we are doing when we say “Stick out your tongue.”, “Say Ah.”, and feel your neck? We are looking for lumps and bumps that do not belong, or discolorations as part of an Oral Cancer Screening.
What we know about oral cancer:
Oral cancer kills an average of one person an hour here in the U.S. and 100 new cases will be diagnosed each day.
The leading cause of oral cancer is no longer tobacco use, but exposure to HPV. HPV or the Human Papilloma Virus is a sexually transmitted disease that people can carry and not have any symptoms.
For more facts on oral cancer, you can check out this link: 50 Facts on Oral Cancer
The 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is low when not caught in the early stages.
Early Detection is Key
You may have a lesion and feel no pain or discomfort. Any unusual color change or swelling in your mouth that does not heal in 2 weeks needs to be checked by a dentist right away.
Check out this great video on how to perform an oral cancer screening on yourself at home:
At each hygiene appointment, the hygienists will screen your mouth and Dr. Medina will always perform an oral cancer screening with your exam.
Laura graduated with top honors from the University of Maine at Augusta/Bangor dental hygiene program in 2011. Since then she has been pursuing her passion in dental hygiene and continued her education graduating with a Bachelors degree in Applied Science and Biology minor. She joined the Seasons of Smiles team after having her daughter in 2014.