Oral Cancer Screening

People can get lesions, sores or spots in their mouths for a variety of reasons and many times these sores go away on their own and pose no problem. However, if you have a sore or spot in your mouth that has been there for more than two weeks, it’s important that it be evaluated.

As your dentist, I routinely screen you for oral cancer by carefully examining your mouth, tongue and neck. If I find anything suspicious, I may refer you directly to an oral surgeon or physician for further evaluation. We use the Vizilite Plus system as an adjunct to out screening process to aid in the early detection of oral abnormalities.
The Vizilite exam involves rinsing with a mild vinegar solution and then examining the oral tissues with a specific light source. If I conduct a screening in my office, it can help me determine whether a referral is indicated. The screening I conduct in my office is just a screening… not a definite diagnosis… only a surgical biopsy can confirm if a lesion, spot or sore is oral cancer.

The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid risky behaviors including tobacco and alcohol use.
For more information on oral cancer, visit the American Dental Association’s Web site at ADA.org and the Journal of the American Dental Association patient page on detecting oral cancer early.