Oral Cancer Screening Specialist

Jeffrey J Glaser, DDS, MSD, PA -  - Periodontist

Jeffrey J Glaser, DDS, MSD, PA

Periodontist & Dental Implant Specialist located in Plano, TX

Oral cancer screening is vitally important for preserving optimal health and diagnosing cancer in its earliest stages. As a top-ranked periodontist in Plano, TX, Dr. Jeffrey Glaser performs in-depth oral cancer screenings to help each patient reduce his or her risk of cancer and get the care that is needed to stay healthy.

Oral Cancer Screening Q & A

What is an oral cancer screening?

An oral cancer screening is an in-depth evaluation of the gums, lips, tongue, palate and other tissues of the mouth as well as the neck and face, looking for abnormalities that could indicate the presence of oral cancer or precancerous conditions.

What are the signs of oral cancer?

Oral cancer can cause different signs and can affect different areas of the mouth, face, and neck. Some of the most common signs of oral cancer include:

  • white or pink patches forming on the soft tissues of the mouth, including the inside of the cheeks, the gums, and the palate
  • rough patches or lumps appearing on the lips or gums or elsewhere inside the mouth
  • numbness, tingling or unexplained bleeding in the mouth, neck or face
  • slow-to-heal sores in the mouth or on the face or neck
  • chronic hoarseness or a sore throat
  • feeling like a lump or foreign object is “stuck” in the throat
  • pain in the ear, face or throat
  • pain or problems when swallowing or moving the jaws
  • a change in the way the teeth meet

What happens during an oral cancer screening?

Screenings begin with a visual examination of the soft tissues inside the mouth as well as the lips, face, jaws and neck. The neck, face and soft tissues of the mouth may be gently palpated to feel for lumps or bumps that could indicate cancer. When an abnormal area of tissue is identified, a biopsy may be performed to obtain a small sample of cells for evaluation under a microscope. Depending on where the abnormal tissue is located, it may be excised (cut out) or removed using a special brush to scrape some cells from the tissue’s surface.

How often should I be screened for oral cancer?

Basic oral cancer screening should be performed every six months with each dental cleaning, and an in-depth screening should be performed at least once each year or more often for those with risk factors like a family history of oral cancer and those who use tobacco products. The screening process is completely painless and takes just a few minutes to perform.