Piedmont Dental @ Lake Anna has a New Name! We are proudly known as Smile Lake Anna and are excited to continue to deliver EXCEPTIONAL dental care to our returning and new patients!

Location

5205 Courthouse Rd, Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA

Call Us

(540) 895-7330

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening in Spotsylvania

An oral cancer screening is a simple test that can help detect signs of mouth, throat, and neck cancers at their earliest stages. If you notice any changes in your oral cavity, such as sores, swelling, bleeding gums, bumps, redness, white patches, or other unusual symptoms, contact our dental office immediately for a visual inspection. Early oral cancer detection is the best way to ensure you get the treatment you need right away.

Our dental health professionals at Smile Lake Anna offer oral cancer screening in Spotsylvania, VA, to ensure we catch the early warning signs of oral cavity cancer before they become more serious problems.

What is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers. It develops in the oral cavity, which includes the lips, gums, tongue, and other mouth parts. Oral cavity cancer can be prevented if caught early enough through a visual inspection.

An oral cancer examination consists of a quick visual examination of the inside of your mouth by our dental team. Oral examinations help us identify potential issues with your teeth, tongue, lips, cheeks, and roof of your mouth.

We recommend that you get a regular oral cancer screening every year at one of your regular check-ups. These diagnostic tests are essential because they can find mouth and throat cancers at earlier stages when treatment options are more likely to be effective.

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What is Included in the Screening Procedure

The following diagnostic tests may be included during your oral cancer screening examination:

A comprehensive examination of your oral cavity

Your hygienist will do a visual inspection and look for anything that doesn't look like normal tissue that may indicate signs of early-stage cancer. These may be things like lesions in your mouth and throat, thick white patches or red or inflamed areas of the mouth and gums.

Palpation

Your hygienist will do a physical examination by using gloved fingers to feel around for bumps or lumps that may not be visible to the naked eye. You should tell the doctor if anything feels sore or tender during the exam.

A screening light

We will use a screening light that will help detect lesions or abnormalities. The light will make healthy tissue look dark and unhealthy tissue look white, making it easier to detect.

If Warning Signs are Detected

If our dental team detects any signs of cancer, we will refer you to an oral surgeon for further testing. These tests may include:

Tongue scraping

If needed, we may scrape the surface of your tongue to check for abnormal tissues. Scrapings are sent to a lab where they will be examined under a microscope.

Lymph node biopsy

Sometimes, doctors will remove a tissue sample from one of your lymph nodes. This allows them to examine it under a microscope to determine whether there are any abnormal cells in your regional lymph nodes.

Lymph node biopsy

Doctors may perform a cheek biopsy if they suspect that you have cancer. A small piece of skin is removed from your cheek and sent to a lab for analysis.

Who is at Risk for Mouth Cancer?

Oral cavity cancer can affect anyone, but there are certain risk factors that make a person more likely to be diagnosed.

High-risk groups for mouth cancer include:

  • Heavy alcohol users
  • Smokers
  • Those with HPV
  • Men (it is twice as common in men than women)
  • Those who are older than 55
  • Those who have a family history of cancer in the oral cavity

Who is at Risk for Mouth Cancer?

Here are some primary prevention strategies to help prevent mouth cancer:

  • Brush twice daily using fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco products
  • Avoid heavy alcohol consumption
  • Get regular checkups

Schedule an Oral Screening Examination with us Today

Early oral cancer detection is vital when it comes to effectively treating oral cancer. Our professional team of dentists and dental hygienists are here to provide oral cancer examinations during your annual exams. For more information about oral cancer screening examinations or if you have concerns, visit our dental practice in Spotsylvania, VA.