Oral Cancer Screening And Detection

John L. Redd II, DMD -  - Cosmetic & General Dentist

Tampa Smiles

John L. Redd II, DMD

Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Hyde Park, Tampa, FL

Dr. Redd, is committed to ensuring his patients from in and around Tampa, FL receive the most comprehensive array of oral health services, offering oral cancer screening services during routine exams and other dental appointments.

Oral Cancer Screening and Detection Q & A

What is an oral cancer screening?

An oral cancer screening is a medical procedure which is used to examine a person’s mouth, including the insides of the cheeks, the palate, and other tissues, for signs of cancer. When an abnormal area is found, a small sample of cells, known as a biopsy, will be taken and sent to a lab for additional testing. The lab can determine if cancer is present. Samples are taken with a special brush which gently scrapes cells off the interior of the mouth or by cutting a very small piece of tissue from a numbed spot. The office performs oral cancer screenings at routine dental checkups and during some other office appointments to ensure that any subtle changes can be identified.

What types of signs or symptoms does oral cancer cause?

The most frequent symptoms connected to oral cancer include:

  • Persistent hoarseness or a sore throat
  • Feeling of a foreign object in the throat
  • Ear pain
  • Problems swallowing or moving the jaw
  • Changes in the way dentures fit or feel
  • Changes in the way teeth meet when the mouth is closed
  • Reddish, whitish, or light-colored patches, blotches, or speckled areas on the palate, tongue, cheeks, lips or other spots in the mouth
  • Bumps, lumps, or rough-textured areas
  • Areas of numbness or unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Numbness or slow-to-heal sores elsewhere on the neck or head

How can I tell if I am at risk for oral cancer?

Oral cancer can occur in anyone, however, some risk factors have been identified which make a person more susceptible to developing cancer, such as:

  • Smoking and use of any tobacco
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Presence of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Extensive sun exposure during the person’s lifetime

For more information or to schedule an oral cancer screening, contact the office to arrange a visit to the dentist.