UPTOWN/GALLERIA: 346-980-4770 | MIDTOWN: 281-397-3832
UPTOWN/GALLERIA: 346-980-4770
MIDTOWN: 281-397-3832

Oral Cancer Screening

Everything You Should Know About Oral Cancer Screening

Be in the know! Like the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Detecting early signs of oral cancer will help intervene and address the disease before it progresses to something more complex and improve prognosis.

Everything you should know about an oral cancer screening

Be in the know! Like the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Detecting early signs of oral cancer will help intervene and address the disease before it progresses to something more complex and improve prognosis.

Oral cancer screening involves a physical and visual exam of the oral cavity (the teeth, the tongue, the lips, beneath the tongue, hard palate (the bony roof of the mouth), the gums and the buccal mucosa (the inside lining of the cheeks and lips) and other connective tissues. It is essential at every new patient comprehensive exam to screen for any abnormalities or pathologies in the intraoral and extraoral cavity.

What is oral cancer? This type of cancer occurs in any part of the mouth (lips, tongue, gums, floor of the mouth, roof of the mouth, or inner lining of the cheeks). Always watch out for pain in the mouth or the ears, persistent mouth sores growing in size, discoloration, painful swallowing, chronic hoarseness, non-tender lump in the neck, and chronic sore throats. Make sure you visit your dentist if you are experiencing one of these signs of symptoms!

Houston Oral Cancer Screening

Why do you need oral cancer screening?

With a low survival rate of 60% in 5 years, the best thing you can do is go for a check-up! Oral cancer screening should be part of your wellness to-do list to ensure all types of abnormalities and pathologies are detected early for better prognosis. During your routine dental exam, your dentist at URBN Dental will check for any signs and symptoms of oral cancer.

Oral cancer spreads quickly, therefore it is important to go for a screening at least once a year to ensure your oral health is within normal limits. Oral cancer screening takes just a few minutes so there is no excuse! The fact that you are not feeling any symptoms does not mean you are free from underlying oral cancer or abnormalities. Regular oral cancer screening will provide you with relief to know that you are always screened for early detection for any abnormalities for early management and better prognosis.

Oral Cancer Screening in Houston

Who is more susceptible to needing oral cancer screening?

Cancer occurs when the genetic mutation instructs cells to grow uncontrollably. When left untreated, the cancer spreads from one part of the mouth to other areas which can then spread to other parts of the head and neck and towards the body. Cancer does not discriminate and affect anyone, so it’s crucial to maintain regular oral cancer screening.

Who is more susceptible to needing oral cancer screening? There is no black and white answer to this question. Anyone is susceptible to oral cancer but there are risk factors that makes one more vulnerable to developing abnormalities. If any of your family has been diagnosed with oral cancer in the past, make sure oral cancer screening is performed on you at every recall appointment. Genetic and hereditary links to oral cancer can put you at a higher risk and therefore you should have screenings done more frequently.

The exact cause of oral cancer is still unknown. However, there is evidence that there are risk factors and certain habits that increase the chances of acquiring oral cancer. One risk factor is inherited mutation that may run in the family. Tobacco and alcohol use are two of the biggest risk factors for oral cancer. If you are a smoker or frequently consume alcohol, you are more susceptible to oral cancer and thus will require more frequent oral cancer screenings. Other risk factors include having HPV infection, a diet rich in processed foods, red meats, and fried foods. Constant exposure to UV lights, radiotherapy of the head and neck area and other exposures to harmful chemicals can also lead to development of abnormalities within the oral cavity.

How do you treat a patient using oral cancer screening?

  • Visual exam

During the visual exam, the intraoral and extraoral cavities are examined thoroughly. This includes anything inside your mouth, your nose, neck, face and lips. Prior to screening it is recommended for the patient to remove any dental appliance (dentures, partials, etc.) that might obstruct the examination. The dentist will look for any abnormalities such as swelling, discoloration, asymmetries, ulcerations, etc.

  • Physical exam

The dentist will check the cheeks, head, under the chin, jaw, and oral cavity using his gloved hands to see if he can palpate any abnormal masses or nodules. The patient may be asked to do some tasks like swallowing or chewing to see whether there is any pain or discomfort on the throat, teeth or gums.

What are the symptoms of someone who needs oral cancer screening?

Just like any other disease, oral cancer also comes with numerous signs and symptoms. You should look out for:

  • Bleeding sore
  • Non-healing sore
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful tongue
  • Painful jaw or jaw stiffness
  • Painful/difficult swallowing
  • Painful/difficult chewing
  • peculiar sore throat

Having the above signs may not necessarily mean you have oral cancer. Regardless if you are unsure and have risk factors then you should consult your dentist immediately!

Michelle Campbell
Michelle Campbell
19:53 20 Jun 18
Excellent service. Great first impression! Best cleaning I've had in several years, my mouth feels amazing. They even took the time to show me how to brush more effectively. My teeth are back to being pearly white. They were very knowledgeable in regards to my insurance and I've had no issues. The service there is impeccable!
Nonna Beetge
Nonna Beetge
14:21 24 Apr 18
The staff is wonderful, very friendly and informative. I love how they not only take X-rays, but also photos of all your teeth and put them on the big screen. They spent as much time as I needed to go over each area and explain specifics of each tooth. I definitely have a greater understanding of what is going on in there and what I need to do. I also love their space, it has a calming vibe with all kinds of artwork on display. You almost feel like you’re not at the dentist! Thank you all so much, I look forward to seeing you all again! (Said no one to their dentist 😉 )
Allie Hackett
Allie Hackett
18:47 19 Jun 18
I am not the biggest fan of the dentist, however this was the BEST dentist experience I have ever had! Everyone was so kind and I got everything I needed done in one visit! They provided super helpful insight about what was going on with my teeth and took care of everything I needed quickly. I will absolutely be returning! 🙂
Andrew Nguyen
Andrew Nguyen
14:17 10 May 18
Beautiful location and office. Very friendly and welcoming staff! I had a great time conversing with them about movies and music. Dr. Nguyen and his staff were very knowledgeable and stressed the importance of making sure the patient knew what their game plan was. The office is very high tech as well so it was super cool to know that I was getting the latest tech being use on me.
Andrea Andrea
Andrea Andrea
17:15 20 May 18
Love the location, the dentist AND the staff. Everyone there is awesome. It's rare that I leave a dentist office feeling just as good as when I arrive. I was sad I didn't get to see Snickers, but all in all I had a great experience my first time here. Glad to finally have a new "home" dentist since moving to Texas.
Joshua Parra
Joshua Parra
02:17 14 Sep 18
From start to finish great experience. Impeccably clean office, high tech tools, & friendly staff. Went to get my top teeth contoured/shaped. They did a Hollywood star job! I now, have a flawless smile. I even went back the next day for a touch-up on one tooth & they took care of it, graciously. If you want quality cosmetic dentistry inside the loop; look no further. These folks are the best in class.
Bianca Anderson
Bianca Anderson
17:05 05 Sep 18
Very friendly staff. The hygienist's were so knowledgeable and really took the time to teach you about your teeth, they gave my husband and I "homework" to improve our oral health. Love it! Angela was great, great sense of humor (made me laugh a lot) and very professional. Awesome job Nicole, very friendly and took the time to answer all the questions we had (love she was recommending eateries for hubby to take me :). Julia was great at the front counter very lively and knowledgeable as well. They all really took the time and customized everything for us. Able to get free electric toothbrushes but didn't have any in stock.
Ji H Oh
Ji H Oh
15:19 22 Sep 18
I am usually scared of going to the dentist for my annual cleaning but I was completely blown away by the amazing customer service from the staff. Julia was extremely helpful and explained my dental coverage and out of pocket costs. Angela did an exceptional job explaining to me about the importance of dental hygiene and actually taught me how to floss properly. The office was extremely clean and upscale. Dr. Bridget was very sweet and great bedside manners. She explained everything about the treatment plan in a very thorough and concise manner. I was extremely impressed by everyone on the office and I cant wait to come back for my next appointment.
Death Morgulis
Death Morgulis
16:23 12 Sep 18
Great place for all your dental needs. Very inviting and friendly staff. They are very knowledgeable and passionate about the work they do. I've been looking for a good dentist for awhile while neglecting my oral health, but now I think I've found my place. 10/10 would come back for a follow-up appointment.
Trisha Hinojosa
Trisha Hinojosa
18:30 07 Oct 18
Very friendly staff who put up with my inane sense of humor. The entire team team spoke with me 1:1, including:Dental assistants, hygienist, dentist, and insurance admin (explained everything to me in detail including how my insurance works).They explained my x-rays to me, the effects of flossing correctly / incorrectly. I feel like they gave me the education I didn't get as a child on how to care for my mouth, and why it's important. I was doing good stuff for my oral health-- just not correctly or with a positive attitude.GREAT aftercare package.
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PATIENT TESTIMONIALS

Our patients love being treated at our locations, with consistent 5-star ratings across the board.
See what they have to say about our dentists and dental team.

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Very knowledgeable and informative, explaining all your x-ray and imagery and in creating a course of treatment. The staff is friendly and definitely concerned with their patients. Comfortable environment.

I am not the biggest fan of the dentist, however this was the BEST dentist experience I have ever had! Everyone was so kind and I got everything I needed done in one visit!

Excellent service. Great first impression! Best cleaning I've had in several years, my mouth feels amazing. They even took the time to show me how to brush more effectively. My teeth are back to being pearly white.

They were very prompt and professional. I felt very comfortable in the visit. They have good exam specials without any hidden fees. I have found me a permanent dentist office. Thanks URBN staff.

URBN Dental provided great service and they were all so nice. They did a great job communicating with me and i would recommend to all.

I had a root canal and a crown done here, the entire process took about an hour. Will be back in 2 weeks for my final crown! Great doctor, great staff.