Oral Cancer Screenings and Surgery

Oral cancer may not be as well known as other forms of cancer, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Oral cancer screenings are vital to detect any precancerous or cancerous conditions in the mouth before they progress to an advanced stage of the disease. An oral cancer screening is a quick procedure that involves visual and touch examinations to assess the inside of your mouth. Some dentists use additional tests, such as dye or ultraviolet light. If your dentist discovers any abnormal lesions, a small tissue sample can be collected and sent to the lab for more thorough testing.

Risks and Signs of Oral Cancer

Some people have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, sometimes at no fault of their own. Causes of oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco use of any kind, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, dip and vaping
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Family history of cancer
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Significant sun exposure
  • Poor diet

There are certain symptoms and signs of oral cancer to look for. Some of these 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

Surgical Treatment of Oral Cancer

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with oral cancer, there are several treatment options available to you. These include:

  • Glossectomy: The removal of partial or larger portions of the tongue
  • Mandibulectomy: The partial removal of the jawbone when a tumor is too close or attached to the bone
  • Maxillectomy: The removal of the bones that make up the hard palate or nasal sinuses
  • Reconstructive surgery: The transplantation of tissue from one area in your body, such as your forearm, thigh, or abdomen, to the affected area of your mouth
  • Dental implants: An additional procedure that can be done during certain mouth surgeries, so that a separate surgery is not required
  • Lymph node removal: Oral cancers often spread to the lymph nodes in the neck and can be removed during oral surgery. The purpose of this removal is to reduce the chance of the cancer returning in the future. Lymph node removal is commonly recommended for cancers that infect the tongue, floor of the mouth, or lower gums.

Talk to your dentist today about scheduling routine oral cancer screenings. You will have the best chance for a full recovery if oral cancer is detected early.

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Smile Works Family Dentistry

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-4:00 pm

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "Dr. Gray and her team are exceptional, and I have recommended her to family and friends. For our family of 7, they have provided care for adults and kids with comfort and skill, from cleanings to fillings and a recent crown on my 8 year old daughter. Our kids actually love going to the dentist, which speaks volumes! I highly recommend Smile Works!"
    Thomas B.
  • "Very thorough and knowledgeable, they always show you in pictures and on x-rays if you have any cavities so that you can see them for yourself rather than just going by their word. Dr Gray and Jess are very gentle when getting any work done. Shelley does a wonderful job at fillings and Debbie up front is amazing at figuring out your dental benefits and cost so you're never surprised by the cost of anything!"
    Jordan L.
  • "Fantastic! Dr Gray and her staff have cared for our entire family since she opened this practice. She is very thorough and gentle. Our kids actually love going to the dentist. I highly recommend her to all of my friends."
    Ann B.
  • "It's always a great experience, the staff are very patient with answering my questions and very informative!"
    rabspa
  • "Dr. Gray and the entire staff at Smiles Works are amazing! Very thorough and explained everything in detail. If you are in need of a dentist I highly recommend Dr. Gray and the talented team at Smile Works."
    Jesse M.