Examination for Cancer of the Tongue

A healthy mouth is crucial to the health of your whole body. You don’t often think of your tongue unless you burn it or bite it. Sometimes you may stick it out, particularly at the doctors. Your dentist notices your tongue on every visit, because during a complete dental exam, your tongue should be examined too. In today’s blog, your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest discusses how dentists examine your tongue.

Oral Cancer

Your tongue is the most common place for oral cancer to present itself. Any pathology on the tongue should be investigated thoroughly for this reason. When you go to the dentist for an oral examination, your tongue is examined too.

Examination of the Tongue

Your tongue should be examined in the following ways:

Lateral Border: This is the most common place to find oral cancer. The lateral border is the side edge of your tongue. Your dentist should grasp the tip of your tongue and roll it over to each side to observe the lateral borders. Next your dentist should use the mirror to examine the posterior (back) lateral borders as well.

Ventral Surface: Your dentist should ask you to raise your tongue to the roof of your mouth to observe the bottom (ventral surface).  The bottom of your tongue should be pink and symmetrical in shape with a smooth surface.

Finally, your dentist should palpate your entire tongue between the finger and thumb of one hand. Your tongue should feel soft and resilient with no masses.

Because your tongue can relay important information to your dentist about your oral health and your overall health, your dentist probably pays more attention to your tongue than you do.

Is your tongue checked for oral cancer at every checkup?

Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.