Oral health not only involves the teeth but also the tissues around them. The tongue, gums, and cheek tissues are areas that should be evaluated by your general DDS and potentially an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to check for any potential irregularities. The surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Consultants recommend everyone performs an oral cancer self-exam each month. A person’s risk of having oral cancer can be increased due to smoking, consuming alcohol, or using smokeless tobacco. Patients should have his or her dentist for perform an annual examination and may send their patient’s our clinic for treatment if needed.
To perform the monthly oral examination, each patient should examine his or her mouth with a bright light and a mirror, such as a bathroom mirror.
- Examine the inside of the lips.
- Examine the roof of the mouth.
- Look inside the cheeks and around of the gums of the teeth.
- Protrude the tongue and examine all of its surfaces including the top, sides, and underneath.
- Feel for lumps in both sides of the neck, including under the jaw.
- If a patient wears dentures, remove the dentures, and examine the tissues underneath.
- White or red patches/spots
- Sores that easily bleeding, are painful or do not seem to heal
- Abnormal lumps or thickened mouth tissues
- Chronic sore throat or changes in voice
- Difficult chewing or swallowing
- Lumps on the neck
Early diagnosis and treatment of a potential pathologic process can make a significant difference in the treatment. If a patient has any of these symptoms or concerns, contact the doctors at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Consultants right away. Our doctors will perform a clinical exam and diagnose any problems. If a treatment is needed, Drs. Haas, Stich, Kurtzman, Pearson, Sundick, Neuner, McMahon, Spanel, Omlie and Ziegler are well-trained and will thoroughly explain the findings, and provide guidance through any treatment that may be needed.