Oral Cancer Exam

Southern California Family Dentistry

Southern California Family Dentistry - Whittier, Lake Forest, San Clemente - Dental Exam

In a research conducted by the American Cancer Society, more than 30,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer annually. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for oral cancer patients exceeds the 7,000 numerical. However, if oral cancer is caught in its earliest stage, it is easily diagnosed with an annual exam and successfully treated.

The pathologic progression of oral cancer begins with an asymptomatic stage where the typical cancer signs may not be automatically obvious. Thus, the oral cancer examination is a crucial component preformed by the dentist. Teratoma, melanoma and adenocarcinoma are forms of histologic oral cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of oral cancer that typically originates in the tissues of the lip and mouth.

Oral cancer commonly occurs in the oral cavity and maxillofacial regions, including the mouth, lips, tongues, salivary glands, gums, throat, and face.

Why should I receive an oral cancer examinations?

Almost 75 percent of oral cancers are connected to adjustable habits such as tobacco use, smoking, and extreme alcohol consumption. Your dentist can provide further information on how you can transform your lifestyle and terminate smoking.

Treatment for oral cancer is effective when detected in its initial stage. As soon as any noticeable irregularities in the gums, mouth, tongue or surrounding area are spotted, they should instantly be assessed by a health professional. Indication of pathologic changes are assessed throughout the examination as the dentist and dental hygienist observe the maxillofacial and oral regions

 Oral cancer routine examination process: 

Pink or white patches and sores: indicate pathological (cancerous) changes when they are unable to recover and prolong healing sores that bleed easily; the patches are common the front and sides of the tongue and on the bottom of the mouth.

Leukoplakia: is a firm gray or white, mildly elevated lesion that can emerge anywhere within the mouth. Leukoplakia can be cancerous if treatment is not pursued.

Lumps: are pathological complications that often result in lumps, swellings or the overall solidifying of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth.

 Oral cancer examinations, diagnosis and treatment: 

The process of an oral cancer assessment is an entirely painless procedure.  The visual component of the oral exam will aim to detect abnormalities by feeling the glands, face and neck for uncommon lumps. Another amazing device utilized for an oral cancer exam is the laser; it highlights pathologic changes and identifies irregular signs and lesions that would otherwise be undetectable.

Your dentist will carefully propose a diagnostic impression and treatment plan if irregularities, lesions, leukoplakia or lumps are evident.  If the original treatment proposal is unsuccessful, the performance of a biopsy is the next crucial step.  A clinical assessment through biopsy will successfully detect the exact phase and grade of the oral lesion.

When the basement membrane of the epithelium breaks, the presence of oral cancer is the central reason. Additional threats are plausible when various forms of cancer quickly take over other areas in the oral and maxillofacial zones. Treatment approaches fluctuate based on a particular diagnosis, but may incorporate treatments such as chemotherapy, excision, and radiation therapy.

Although the dentist and hygienist will carefully observe your mouth for changes and lesions during regular check-ups, a comprehensive oral cancer screening is recommended at least once a year.


Please ask your dentist or dental hygienist if you have inquiries about oral cancer. 

Experienced and Highly-Trained


Southern California Family Dentistry - Hossein Jahangiri DDS - Dentist - Whittier, Lake Forest, San Clemente


General, Implant & Cosmetic Dentist, Clinical Director, SCFD & Portside Dentistry


With Locations in Whittier, Lake Forest and San Clemente