Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is a serious form of cancer that can affect any part of the mouth, including your lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth, sinuses, and throat. Oral cancer is most commonly caused by tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. It can also be caused by certain strains of HPV. 

What Are Oral Cancer Screenings? 

Oral cancer screenings are an important part of your health routine because they can detect dangerous problems early on. It can treat the problem before it gets worse. In fact, according to the CDC, about 90 percent of cases of oral cancer are found early. This is because the screenings include a thorough check of your mouth and throat. Your dentist will also feel your neck for lumps or swelling. If anything out of the ordinary is found, your dentist may recommend further testing. 

Research has pointed to a connection between HPV and oral cancer. This virus can cause warts in the mouth and throat. However, not everyone with the virus develops cancerous cells. Some people who have it may even never develop it at all. Still, it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to regular screenings. 

If left untreated, the cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body and become more serious. This is why early detection is so important. The earlier you detect a problem, the easier it is to treat. This means that your prognosis will be much better. Regular screenings are also recommended for people who are at a higher risk of developing the disease because of lifestyle choices. This includes heavy drinkers and heavy smokers. 

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer? 

If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to get in to see your dentist as soon as possible for a screening. The earlier you know you have cancer, the earlier you can start treatment and start feeling better. If caught and treated early, the prognosis for many patients is excellent. 

The most common type of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. This usually begins as a small, non-healing sore or lesion in the mouth that does not go away within a couple of weeks. Other signs of this type include white or red patches on the gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, floor of the mouth, tonsils, or back of the throat; an ulcer that bleeds easily and does not heal after several weeks; a lump or thickening along the gum line or in the cheek; and difficulty swallowing or chewing. 

The other type of oral cancer is malignant melanoma. This usually presents as an area of dark discoloration inside the mouth that will not go away. It may also appear as a white patch or a sore with raised borders. Another symptom is a mole-like spot that may bleed easily or appear ulcerated. These are less common than other types but should still be checked for. 

The bottom line is if you notice anything unusual in your mouth that doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks, you should make an appointment to see your doctor right away. 

It is essential to undergo regular oral cancer screenings, as it can save your life. If you live in Mesa, AZ, we encourage you to call 480-553-9414 and schedule an appointment with our dental office today. 


Phone: (480) 461-9944

Email: [email protected]


1927 N Gilbert Rd Ste 12, Mesa, AZ 85203

Contact Us

Working Hours

  • Monday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 7:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed