ADA Accessibility Information



What to Look for During a Self Oral Cancer Exam

Posted on 8/23/2021 by Tessa Smith-Greisch
What to Look for During a Self Oral Cancer ExamIt is not often that we look inside our own mouths. Even by engaging in recommended oral hygiene, we see very little in our bathroom mirrors, and may only get a dental visit once per year instead of twice. This makes oral cancer signs easy to miss. Plus, signs of oral cancer may not be just inside the mouth. That means we have to be extra-vigilant in our self-exams to ensure we do not miss anything.

How to Do a Self Oral Cancer Exam

First, it is important that you have a mirror, clean fingers, and good lighting. If you want to be sure, it can always be helpful to have a friend or family member assist you. The exam can start by looking at your face. This is important in identifying any swelling, stretches of the skin, or any other changes. Next, run your fingers down the neck and under the jaw to identifying any swelling or differences between the two sides. You want to feel around the inside of your lips for any sores or color changes, and of course any unusual lumps or bumps. Using your fingers, work your way around the gums on the inside and outside for any changes. You want to then do the same with your cheeks. Then, pull out your tongue and examine both sides. It is important not to forget the floor and the roof of your mouth, as these places may hide color changes or ulcers related to oral cancer.

What to Look For

During each step of the exam, it is important to look for lumps, red or white patches, changes in color, changes in texture, ulcers, or anything else unusual. As you're feeling the different parts of your body, it can be helpful to write down anything you have questions about, and bring it to your next visit. Other unusual symptoms related to oral cancers are sores, loose teeth, ear pain, mouth pain, and painful swallowing.

Aside from your regular visits, self oral exams are important in identifying any unusual signs or symptoms related to mouth cancers and other dental issues. If you have questions about mouth cancer, or would like to set up an appointment, please give our office a call.

Get in Touch!

(608) 960-7650


2921 Landmark Place
Madison, WI 53713

Copyright © 2014-2024 Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants and WEO Media (Touchpoint Communications LLC). All rights reserved.  Sitemap
Dental Blog | Madison Oral Surgery and Dental Implants
The doctors at Madison Oral Surgery and Dental Implants have provided this blog to help our patients and the community. We hope our blog will cover the many topics that you and your family may be interested in.
Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, 2921 Landmark Place, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53713 | (608) 960-7650 | | 7/21/2024 | Related Terms: Oral Surgeon, Dental Implants, All on 4, Wisdom Teeth Extractions