Self-Examination for Oral Cancer
Good home oral care should always include self-examination for oral cancer. Any sore that persists in your mouth for more than a week should always be brought to your dentist’s attention. Prevention and early detection for oral cancer is of the greatest importance, so that it can be readily treated and cured.
So what should you be looking at?
Face – Examine the symmetry of your face in the mirror and check for any irregularities.
Lips – Pull up your upper and lower lips to check the color and texture.
Cheeks – Draw back the sides of your mouth and check the insides of your cheeks. Look for discoloration and abnormalities.
Tongue and floor of your mouth – Check the texture and color of your tongue. Move your tongue aside and look as far back as you can see in the mirror. Feel the area, check for any new bumps or ridges that may be abnormal.
Gums – Raise your upper and lower lips to check the color and conditions of your gums. Gums should appear pink.
Trachea – Hold the thyroid cartilage and feel how it works when you swallow. It should go up and down. Feel for any lumps, bumps or color changes.
If you should discover any abnormalities in your self-examination for oral cancer, bring it to the attention of your dentist as soon as possible. Early detection of oral cancer is the key in treating it.