Oral cancer includes any tumor of the oral cavity. It kills more people than skin or cervical cancer. Early detection is the key to successful outcome, and oral cancer is very treatable if caught in the early stages. A flat painless white or red spot or small sore may be harmless but some are not. Cancerous spots can look identical to harmless spots so it is important to have these areas examined by a dentist. Areas of the mouth which may be affected are lips, gum tissues, cheek lining, tongue and hard or soft palate (floor and roof of mouth).
Regular dental check-ups increase the chance of early detection. During your routine cleaning and examinations you are given the option of an oral cancer screening to be done in addition to the visual exam of your mouth. Our screening is a very short procedure which consists of using different colored lights to highlight any abnormal tissue. If the test indicates any abnormality, the patient may be referred to an oral surgeon for further evaluation.