Oral Cancer Screening

Part of your dental checkup at Kathi M. Mansell is screening for anything that appears unusual. Dr. Mansell examines your whole oral cavity, which includes your gums, lips, the cheek lining, tongue, floor of the mouth and your hard palate or roof of your mouth. This probing is to examine for indications of oral cancer, a less common, though potentially dangerous form of cancer.

What causes Mouth Cancer?

Causes for oral cancer can fit into two categories, chemical related factors and physical related factors. Most patients assume that mouth related cancers are strictly for patients who smoke or chew tobacco, but this is only one potential risk factor. Oral cancer can develop due to other reasons, the most common reason currently in the US for oral cancer is the HPV, or human papillomavirus.

HPV is a highly common sexually transmitted infection that you can be immunized from. Additionally, genetics will always play a factor in a cause for oral cancers, some patients are just going to be more susceptible to it due to their genetics. Finally, alcohol consumption, especially in binge drinkers, has been found to be a risk factor for mouth related cancers.

How will Dr. Mansell spot mouth cancer?

Dr. Mansell conducts thorough oral cancer screenings using Velscope VX technology. During your dental visit, Dr. Mansell, can talk to you about your overall health history. Be sure to tell us about any problems you may have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw. Dr. Mansell will examine areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. She will look for the following signs or symptoms that may be potential hazards:

• Any unusual sores that do not seem to be healing or bleed easily.
• Lumps that are hard or thick.
• Areas of your mouth that are rough or unusually crusty.
• Unexplained numbness, pain or tenderness in an area.
• Anything unusual or discomforting that needs further examination.
• Unexplained changes to your bite or how your teeth fit together.

If Dr. Mansell spots anything she feels could use further probing, she will recommend a follow up with your primary doctor. Regular dental visits can improve the chances that we can spot any suspicious changes in your oral health. Catching problems early allows for treatment to be easier and more successful.

What is Velscope VX technology?

This system is a wireless, handheld scope used for examining a patient when conducting a mouth cancer screening. It uses natural tissue fluorescence that enhances visual oral abnormalities, this is important because it shows us markers that might not be apparent or even visible to the naked eye. This is a valuable tool that can save a life.

Our office is happy to schedule an appointment to discuss oral cancer, it’s symptoms, and it’s hazards with you. Contact Kathi Mansell, DMD, MAGD, PLC at our Scottsdale, AZ 85250 office for more information (480) 757-0007