Naples Dental Boutique

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral Cancer Screenings: The Key to Early Detection and Treatment

In this read, we will delve into the nuances of oral cancer, including its causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention, and what you should know about the screening process.

Oral cancer screenings at naples dental boutique
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What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a form of malignancy distinguished by the unregulated proliferation and division of atypical cells within the oral cavity. It manifests as sores, lumps, or discolored areas in the mouth and usually affects the cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, and the roof or floor of the mouth.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 54,000 adults in the US will be diagnosed with oral or mouth cancer in 2023. This type of cancer affects the mouth, including the gums, tongue, cheeks, and lips. It is the 12th most common cancer in the country and has a 5-year survival rate of 57%. This means that over half of the people diagnosed with this form of cancer usually have five years to live after diagnosis. However, this fatality rate tends to be high as the cancer is usually detected in later stages of development. This is why oral cancer screenings are important.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Some signs and symptoms are mistaken for common changes or issues in the mouth, like patches that cannot be scraped away -precancerous conditions. These include:
  • Leukoplakia – Flat gray or white patches that develop in the mouth or throat
  • Erythroleukoplakia – Red and white patches
  • Erythroplakia – Flat or slightly raised red patches that belled when scraped

Other common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
  • Sores in the oral cavity that bleed easily and do not heal in a few weeks
  • Spots in the mouth that bleed for no apparent reason
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness in the neck and face region that happens for no obvious reason
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Earache

What Is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screening entails a thorough mouth examination by a qualified dentist to identify any signs of cancer. The primary goal of the screening is to detect mouth cancer at its earliest stages to allow for immediate treatment and a higher success rate.

Early detection is key in effective cancer management, as treatment becomes more difficult when the symptoms manifest, and the cancer has potentially spread. By detecting this type of cancer early, the chances of survival increase significantly while reducing the risk of experiencing unpleasant side effects associated with more advanced stages of the condition.

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What Does the Oral Cancer Screening Procedure Entail?

The healthcare professional may implement a combination of dental cancer screening methods, which include a visual examination, palpitation, screening dyes, and screening lights. In addition, they can take photos of spots with abnormalities with the aim of monitoring. This process usually takes less than 10 minutes.

• Visual Examination

The dentist will examine the mouth and throat for the presence of lesions. Abnormalities to look for at this stage include leukoplakia and erythroplakia.

• Palpation

At this stage, the practitioner will use their fingers to check for lumps or bumps around the face, jaw, and neck. Patients are advised to inform the doctor of any tender or sore regions.

• Dental Cancer Screening Dye

Most practitioners utilize tools such as toluidine blue dye to check for signs of mouth cancer. The dye coats the lesions, which helps identify regions that have a likelihood of becoming cancerous.

• Dental Cancer Screening Lights

Dentists also have special lights that help identify oral tissue abnormalities. The patient will be asked to gargle with fluorescent mouthwash, while the doctor will utilize a specialized light to examine the oral cavity. Healthy tissues appear dark, while the abnormal ones look white.

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Who Benefits from Oral Cancer Screenings?

While dental cancer screenings can be beneficial for anyone, they are particularly vital for individuals with certain risk factors like:

  • Tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • A history of intense exposure to the sun
  • Some form of previous mouth cancer diagnosis

Oral Cancer Treatment and Prevention

Oral cancer treatment usually has three primary options: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The doctor takes time to discuss the purpose of each treatment, the potential side effects, and ways to manage them. The ideal treatment depends on factors like the kind of oral cancer, age, whether it has spread to other parts of the body, and the patient’s general health.

However, the best way to deal with oral cancer is through prevention. A few tips for doing this include:

• Cutting back or stopping tobacco use. If addiction is an issue, the doctor should be able to recommend viable cessation programs

• Cutting back on alcohol consumption, especially those who drink hard liquor

• Using UV-AB-blocking sunscreen

• Getting vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV)

• Getting regular dental checkups

• Eating a healthy diet

Your Journey to a Healthy Smile Begins at Naples Dental Boutique

Oral cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States. As a result of its high fatality rates, early detection is vital for proper treatment or prevention. Find out more about oral cancer screenings by booking an appointment with Naples Dental Boutique today!

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Oral Cancer Screenings

Yes, there are screenings available for oral cancer. They are a preventive measure to detect any signs or symptoms of mouth cancer in its early stages.

There is no “best” scan to detect oral cancer, as it all comes down to your circumstances and stage of cancer. However, some of the most common scans used to detect oral cancer include CT, MRI, Ultrasound, and PET scans.

The American Cancer Society recommends you begin getting an oral cancer screen at 18 or earlier if you have risk factors like HPV infection or tobacco use. Individuals between the ages of 20 and 40 are advised to take the screening once after every three years and annually after the age of 40.

Our Services

Preventive Care

Preventive Care

Dr. Klose emphasizes preventive care to help her patients maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. With the help of our Dental Wellness Program, you and your family can maintain your smiles in a cost-effective manner. Afterall, good oral health is essential for overall health.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Klose can help you achieve the smile you've always wanted with a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as teeth whitening, veneers, and crowns.

Restorative Dentistry

Restorative Dentistry

Dr. Klose routinely performs tooth colored fillings and bondings. Dr. Klose also utilizes our dental milling machine to custom create dental Inlays, Onlays and Crowns in a single visit!



If you are experiencing a severe toothache, you may need a Root Canal. Dr. Klose treats root canals and other endodontic emergencies such as dental abscesses. Our 3D imaging technology allows Dr. Klose to clearly diagnose and map out the anatomy of your tooth. If you are in pain, please do not hesitate to contact us.



Dr. Klose and her highly trained Dental Hygienists treat gum disease and other periodontal conditions to keep your mouth healthy. Using the latest technology, we are able to care for your gums in a comfortable and efficient manner.



In some cases, a tooth may need to be removed. Dr. Klose is well versed in removing teeth and performing select bone grafting procedures. Using our 3D imaging technology, we are able to safely and comfortably remove your tooth and offer replacement options if needed.


Invisalign ®

Clear aligner therapy such as Invisalign® is a popular option for people who want to straighten their teeth without having braces. Clear aligner therapy is also a relatively comfortable option, and it can be completed in as little as six months. Dr. Klose has received extensive training and successfully completed several hundred invisalign® cases, earning her the title "Invisalign® Gold Provider." With the help of our 3D imaging, we can show you a 3D rendition of your straighter smile!