5 Reasons Why You Should Get Oral Cancer Screenings

Apr 15, 2024 | Blog

You must have heard of the importance of getting regular dental exams. But did you know that your dentists assess beyond your teeth during these visits? Comprehensive dental checkups also include oral cancer screenings, which are done to detect the early risk of this condition or other precancerous conditions. Let’s understand the significance of oral cancer screenings and why you should get them on a regular basis.

What Happens During An Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening is a preventive approach to analyze the oral cavity and detect possible signs of this disease at an early stage. Like routine dental checkups, these screenings are completely painless and non-invasive.

Typically, an oral cancer screening involves two main components: visual inspection and physical examination. Your dentist will begin by using a sterilized mirror or tongue depressor to visualize the teeth, gums, palate, tongue, and surrounding regions for tell-tale signs of cancer. Visible signs of oral cancer may include lesions or sores that have persisted for longer than 2 weeks, irregular bumps, nodules, or changes in bite.

After visual inspection, your dentist will gently palpate around the soft tissues in your mouth to look for unusual bumps or growths. They will also palpate your jaw and neck area to assess the lymph nodes in those regions. If any signs are detected, your dentist may recommend a biopsy for confirmation.

Reasons Why Oral Cancer Screenings Are Important

Early Detection

Oral cancer develops silently during its initial phase. You may not notice the early signs until it has progressed to an advanced form. However, during a screening, your dentist can assess your oral cavity for signs that may not be prominent otherwise. Early detection of this disease can aid in successful treatment and improve your overall health.

Risk Assessment

Chronic smoking, use of tobacco products, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and positive family history are factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer. The screenings allow dental professionals to assess a person’s risk factors for developing this condition.

Improved Prognosis

Early diagnosis and intervention of oral cancer can greatly improve your prognosis. If the cancer is left undiscovered, it may spread to other regions of the body and threaten your life. It can be prevented with regular oral cancer screenings.

Education and Awareness

Routine screenings also allow dental practitioners to educate people about the risk factors and possible signs of oral cancer. During these exams, you will also learn the importance of self-examination to detect any abnormal changes in your mouth.

Peace of Mind

The presence of any irregular lesion or bump in your mouth may worry you, but you can have peace of mind by getting a screening exam. Routine exams will also ensure that there are no threats and your overall oral health is in good shape.


From routine dental checkups to oral cancer screenings, our team at Champions Dental emphasizes the importance of preventive care. If you want to schedule an oral cancer screening or consult with our specialist, just give us a call at (281) 866-0442 for an appointment.

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, a Texas native with roots in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts a diverse educational and professional background. After completing his Biology degree at Texas A&M, he transitioned from teaching to dentistry, earning his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Garza’s commitment to excellence for over 15 years, is evident through his extensive education in various dental specialities, culminating in prestigious accolades like the Fellowship Award in 2016 and the Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2020, achieved by less than 2% of dentists. 


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