Oral Cancer Screening
Your mouth is part of the oral cavity, which also includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, floor of the mouth and the hard palate (roof of your mouth). The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.
During your dental visit, your dentist can talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.
Symptoms of Mouth or Throat Cancer:
Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw.
VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening
During your checkup, Dr. VanDerhoef or Dr. Lee will use a handheld tool called VELscope® to check your mouth for any irregularities.
VELscope® shines a fluorescent light on the tissue in your mouth, tissue abnormalities will show differently under this light than otherwise healthy tissue. These abnormalities can indicate an early sign of oral cancer. As with other cancers, this sort of early detection can save your life.
At VanDerhoef Smiles, our dentists will include a thorough oral cancer screening during your comprehensive exam.