Oral Cancer Awareness: How Often Should You Get Screened?

Most people understand the importance of routinely having an oral cancer screening but may not know how often it is necessary. The primary goal of this preventive service is to detect the signs of oral cancer early. Several factors influence the frequency of when you should get screened.

Because every patient has different needs, your dental team will help determine how often you should be screened. This exam will decrease your chances of missing the signs and going through a devastating experience.   

What Is Oral Cancer Screening? 

Screening for oral cancer happens when a dentist conducts an exam to locate precancerous or cancerous conditions in your mouth. These conditions typically affect the mouth, tongue, and jaw. 

This exam routinely happens during your routine dental checkup, and the dentist will inspect the following regions: 

  • Floor and roof of the mouth 
  • Tongue
  • Lips 
  • Gums 
  • Cheek lining 
  • Tonsils 

They’ll examine these areas for swelling, loose teeth, unusual lumps, red patches, or discolored white tissues. They may also ask questions to learn more about potential symptoms, like unexplained changes to your voice or a constant sore throat.  

How Often Should You Have an Oral Cancer Screening? 

The standard recommendation for oral cancer screening is at least once a year for adult patients. However, some patients require more frequent screenings. Patients with the following risk factors should have an oral cancer exam at least twice a year: 

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use 
  • Prolonged sun exposure 
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • A history of oral cancer 

Although you may not be exposed to these risk factors, healthy individuals can still develop oral cancer. Living a healthy lifestyle and eating a well-balanced diet reduces your chances of becoming one of the tens of thousands of patients diagnosed with this disease yearly.

Has It Been Over a Year Since Your Last Oral Cancer Screening? 

If you’re due for an oral cancer screening or have a high risk of developing this disease, contact David W. Piper, DMD, at (727) 548-7100 to schedule an appointment.   

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I've been a patient of Dr. Piper's for the last 19 years so it's very obvious that I've been a very very satisfied patient. I had an excellent full check-up today with x-rays and everything was perfect. Perfect because I've been going consistently and following their experts on dental care, cleaning and good health! Bravo 👏 👏 👏
Deborah M.
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Dr. Piper and staff are always very professional, I have been a patient for over 15 years, and happy about it. Just got my teeth cleaned and checked recently, Sandra is friendly and thorough, and the office felt very clean which is important.
Tom T.
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Staff were fast and attentive, didn't wait long before I saw Dr. Piper. The office is clean and organized. Was a great decision to use this practice and will be visiting again. Not a single issue. Cannot recommend enough.
Ted M.
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Thank you Sandra, for my teeth cleaning....I had a great experience, I do love getting my teeth cleaned! Piper Family Dentistry rocks...😁.
Deborah W.
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