Hygiene Visits: Oral Cancer Screening

Your Hygiene Visit Could Save Your Life

Did you know early detection of oral cancer can save your life? It’s true. Dr. Harris and our entire staff take seriously our responsibility to your total oral health. A healthy mouth is more than strong teeth and a confident smile. It’s about protecting your health and helping you live your life to its fullest — today and tomorrow.

When it comes to oral cancer screening, we’re vigilant. We thoroughly examine your lips, mouth, tongue, jaw, and throat for oral cancer signs at every hygiene visit. And we ask you to let us know if you have any warning signs or risk factors. Because the best care is based on communication and partnership.

Warning signs of oral cancer include:

  • A red, white, or discolored bump, lump, or spot in or near your mouth — that may not hurt
  • A mouth sore that bleeds easily and doesn’t heal within 2 weeks
  • An area of your mouth or throat that is raised, rough, thick, or hard — that may not hurt
  • Finding it difficult to chew or swallow
  • Feeling that something is stuck in your throat
  • Tongue or mouth numbness
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness that won’t go away

Some risk factors for oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco use — including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • HPV infection

During our exam, if we find any suspicious areas, we’ll do a pain-free in-office biopsy using a small brush to collect cells. This will help us determine whether cancer is, in fact, present. We can then review additional testing and treatment options with you.

The earlier you know you have oral cancer, the sooner you can begin treatment — and the better your outcomes will be. Dr. Harris is committed to giving you as much of a head start in treating oral cancer as possible. Your life may depend on it.

Featured Testimonial

I’m in love with Dr. Harris and her staff! They are always so welcoming and they take the anxiety out of going to the dentist. I can sincerely say I enjoy going to the dentist!

- Mosely