Oral Cancer Screening

Folan Family Dental is not only dedicated to your smile, we're also committed to your overall wellness. We take a holistic approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam. Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.

Signs of Oral Cancer

The FFD clinical staff has the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit FFD to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
  • Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A lump, thickening, or rough spot
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
Our team is trained in a simple, quick screening that involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole, and not just your teeth, to detect cancerous and precancerous conditions. Besides a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of the oral cavity.

VELscope Vx

The VELscope Vx is the most effective technology currently available for assisting with the discovery of oral mucosal abnormalities, some of which can lead to oral cancer.

The VELscope Vx's blue light simulates a natural fluorescence in the soft tissues of your mouth. The natural fluorescence, seen through the VELscope Vx, allows dental professionals to see disease not visible to the naked eye. The VELscope Vx helps discover oral disease before it can be seen under ordinary light.
The use of the VELscope Vx to examine the tissues of your mouth is non-invasive and takes one to two minutes. 

How to Prevent Oral Cancer

  • The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.

Self Examinations

When it comes to your overall health, your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Don’t ignore any suspicious lumps or sores. If you discover something, don’t panic. Make an appointment for a prompt examination. Early treatment may well be the key to complete recovery.
Below are the 8 places to look for abnormalities to screen for oral cancer. Using a mirror, you should examine yourself on a regular basis.  
The tongue and the floor of your mouth are where 60% of all oral cancer is found.