The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

Our office is not only dedicated to your smile, we’re also dedicated to your overall wellness. We take a holistic approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam.

According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer affects more than 35,000 people in the United States each year.

Don’t let yourself be one of them. Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.

Maidu Dental | Auburn, CA | Oral Cancer

Are You at Risk for Oral Cancer?

There are several risk factors for oral cancer, some preventable, some not. Keep in mind that 25% of oral cancer patients have no risk factors at all.

  • Any tobacco use, such as cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco
  • Excessive or heavy drinking
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV)

We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, fewer serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A lump, thickening or rough spot
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue

ViziLite® Plus is a simple screening system that was developed to help oral healthcare professionals identify and evaluate abnormalities in your mouth. These may include suspicious oral lesions, precancerous cells, and cancer, which may be difficult to see during a regular visual exam. When oral cancer is found early, treatment is less invasive and outcomes are far better. Early detection of oral cancer can help save your life.

VELscope® Vx is a revolutionary technology that uses natural tissue fluorescence to enhance the way dentists visualize oral mucosa abnormalities that might not be apparent or even visible to the naked eye. Recognized by the World Health Organization, the award-winning VELscope® Vx is the world’s most widely used adjunctive device for diagnosis of suspicious oral lesions such as oral cancer or pre-malignant dysplasia.

Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer.

  • The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.
  • During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chance of successful treatment.

Please contact our office to schedule an appointment at (530) 823-8771.