Oral Cancer Screening

The oral cavity is the most common place for cancer to develop. Although it’s a rare type of cancer, it’s definitely one you need to pay attention to during your yearly oral exam.

Oral cancer can develop on the lips or tongue; it’s typically painless in its early stages and can cause sores that bleed easily. As the disease progresses, it can spread to nearby lymph nodes and even to the lungs and brain. This is why it’s important to catch any signs early and get treatment as soon as possible.

Signs of oral cancer include red and white colored patches in the mouth area as well as pain and bleeding when speaking or chewing. While these symptoms may not seem alarming on their own, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health!

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

The symptoms of oral cancer can be vague, so it can be difficult to diagnose cancer in its early stages. However, there are some common signs and symptoms that indicate the need for a professional examination:

  • A sore on the mouth or throat that does not heal within two weeks
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • Numbness in the jaw area
  • An earache that doesn’t get better with treatment
  • A lump or thickening of the skin of the neck
  • Swelling on one side of the face
  • A change in the way your teeth come together when you bite down
  • White lesions in the mouth or along the gums
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, or face

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. The earlier oral cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better your prognosis will be.

An oral cancer screening is a visual examination of your oral cavity and throat to check for signs of cancer or precancerous growths. These may include sores, lesions, lumps, patches of discolored tissues, and more. This exam is painless and can be a great way to detect early point-of-care cancers so they can be treated as quickly as possible.

What Happens During An Oral Cancer Screening?

During an initial examination, we will thoroughly examine the inside of your mouth for any signs of oral cancer or precancerous cells. This exam is also an opportunity to share any symptoms you may be experiencing so that we can determine the underlying cause and let you know if further treatment is needed. Although this screening often takes place during an annual general checkup, it may also be recommended before certain treatments if you are at a higher risk for oral cancer. For example, people who smoke or use tobacco products may be asked to schedule a separate screening for oral cancer prior to receiving another oral surgery procedure. In some cases, we may ask you to undergo a simple brush test to check for the presence of abnormal cells in your mouth. This is a simple in-office process that involves swishing a special rinse around in your mouth for a few minutes and then spitting it into a container. We then use a blue light to magnify the cells, allowing us to better spot problem areas. Depending on your specific risk factors, you may need to undergo this type of test once a year or even more frequently. The earlier we can detect a problem, the more successful our treatments and prevention strategies will be.

For more information about oral cancer screening, visit Englewood Dentistry at 334 Grand Ave, Englewood 07631, or call (201) 541-8111.


334 Grand Ave,
Englewood, NJ 07631

Office Hours

MON10:00 am-6:00 pm

TUE9:00 am-5:00 pm

WED10:00 am-6:00 pm

THU - FRI9:00 am-5:00 pm

SAT9:00 am-3:00 pm