Oral Cancer Screening

At Enhance Family Dental, we perform oral cancer screenings to look for early signs of oral cancer and treat it in its initial stage.

Brian Hill, DDS can perform an oral cancer screening of your mouth during your scheduled dental check-up visit. He may also recommend additional tests to help in identifying precancerous or abnormal cells in your mouth.

Where Can Oral Cancer Appear?

Oral cancer can appear inside your mouth or the region of your throat. These areas include the insides of your lips, cheek lining, gums, your tongue, the floor of the mouth, your palate, the base of your tongue, and your tonsils.

Why Does Oral Cancer Occur?

Although the exact cause of oral cancer is not known, certain factors can put you at a higher risk of disease. These causes include:
•  Use of tobacco and betel nut
•  Excess alcohol consumption
•  Drug abuse
•  Micronutrient deficiency
•  Excessive sun exposure – it can cause cancer on lips
•  Contracting human papillomavirus

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

It is important to be aware of inexplicable problems areas in your mouth. The signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
•  A persistent sore
•  Thick, rough, crusty spots
•  Strangely smooth red and white patches or lesions
•  Difficulty in speaking, chewing, moving the tongue, and swallowing
•  A change in your bite
•  Numbness and tenderness in the mouth
•  Sore throat
•  Change in voice

What to Expect During An Oral Cancer Screening

At Enhance Family Dental, we will ask you about any new and unusual symptoms that you may have been experiencing in your mouth.

We will then start with our routine oral cancer screening examination by checking the inside of your mouth and the back of your throat for problem areas, like swellings, bumps, ulcerations, contrasting patches of color and other signs of abnormality. You may be asked to open your mouth wide and swallow while your throat is being examined.

Apart from the visual exam, we will also perform a physical exam. We will feel your head, cheeks, under the jaw and chin and inside your mouth for any strange masses or nodules. Another potential precancerous or cancerous sign is rigidness of normally mobile tissues. If we find this, we may ask you if you feel any discomfort in that area. Oral cancer symptoms are usually painful, but if the swelling is painless, it could point to problems somewhere else.

If we discover any unusual signs that could be precursors to oral cancer, we may recommend a follow-up visit in a few weeks to see if the problem has resolved itself. If the issue persists, we may order a biopsy procedure to remove a sample of the unusual cell and send it to the laboratory to determine its cause.

Many people remain under the assumption that if they brush and floss their teeth twice a day and limit intake of sweets, they can prevent oral disease. However, certain bad lifestyle choices, like substance abuse and excessive sun-tanning are big factors in developing oral cancer.

If you detect unusual, uncomfortable, and persistent symptoms in your mouth and throat, call us at (586) 666-4950 to schedule an appointment. Remember, early detection of oral cancer can help you treat the problem before it becomes more serious.

(586) 666-4950
37540 Gratiot Ave, Clinton Township, MI 48036

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