Oral Cancer Screenings

Gentle Care

Oral Cancer Screenings

Accepting New Patience | Most Insurance Accepted

Welcome to Dr. Kamila Modern Holistic Dentistry. We are here to offer you proactive dental services in a friendly and professional environment. All our diagnosis is backed by evidence and we engage you when creating a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs.

Gentle Care

Oral Cancer Screenings

Accepting New Patience | Most Insurance Accepted

Welcome to Dr. Kamila Modern Holistic Dentistry. We are here to offer you proactive dental services in a friendly and professional environment. All our diagnosis is backed by evidence and we engage you when creating a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs.

Get Your Oral Cancer Screening Done in Houston, TX!

Oral cancer screening is a crucial aspect of preventive dental care. During the procedure, your oral cavity will be examined to detect any signs or symptoms of oral cancer or precancerous conditions. Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the mouth, affecting the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, and throat. Early detection of oral cancer significantly increases the chances of successful treatment and improves overall prognosis.

During an oral cancer screening, a dental professional thoroughly examines the oral cavity, looking for any abnormalities or suspicious lesions. The screening process may include the following:

Visual Examination: The dentist or oral healthcare provider visually inspects the entire oral cavity, looking for any visible signs of oral cancer.

Physical Examination: The dentist may gently palpate the tissues in the oral cavity to check for any unusual lumps or masses.

Use of Specialized Tools: This may include the use of a tongue depressor to better visualize the back of the throat or a light source to illuminate the oral tissues for a more detailed examination.

Patient History and Risk Assessment: The dentist will inquire about your medical history, lifestyle habits (such as tobacco and alcohol use), and any symptoms you may have experienced. This information helps in assessing the patient’s risk factors for oral cancer and guides the screening process.

In case any lesions or abnormalities are detected during the screening, we might recommend you for further diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy, to confirm the presence of cancerous cells.

Anyone who has a history of alcohol or tobacco use or who has a history of oral cancer is considered to be at high risk of contracting oral cancer. These individuals would benefit greatly from regular screenings for prevention, early detection, and timely treatment.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of oral cancer that you need to be aware of:

  •  Persistent sore or Ulcer
  •  Red or white patches on the lining of the mouth, gums, or tongue
  •  Unexplained bleeding
  •  Swelling or Lump
  •  Numbness or Pain
  •  Difficulty swallowing or Chewing
  •  Changes in speech such as slurred or unclear speech
  •  Ear Pain without any known cause
  •  Difficulty wearing dentures due to changes in the shape and structure of the mouth

 

Recognizing the symptoms of oral cancer is important for early detection and timely treatment. If left untreated, oral cancer is prone to be life-threatening.

Visit our offices today for your professional oral cancer screening if you are a high-risk individual or you notice one or more of these symptoms.

or call (713) 987-7721

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Have a question or want to learn more? Give us a call or send us an email, we’d love to get the conversation started.

Wisdom Oral Cancer Screenings in Houston

Oral cancer screenings are an important preventative health measure, allowing dentists to check for signs of cancer or precancerous lesions in the mouth. When caught early, oral cancer has an 80-90% 5-year survival rate. However, only about 60% of oral cancers are currently diagnosed at an early stage.

As a result, regular oral cancer screenings are recommended for all adults, especially those over 40 or with risk factors like smoking and heavy alcohol use.

At Dr. Kamila Modern Holistic Dentistry, we provide comprehensive oral cancer screenings in Houston as part of our preventative dental care. Our experienced dentists carefully examine the lips, cheek lining, gums, floor and roof of the mouth, and back of the throat for signs of cancer. We also offer VELscope exams.

Our practice specializes in using modern technology and a spa-like setting to provide gentle, holistic dental care. Our oral cancer screenings are quick and comfortable. And we accept most insurance and are in-network with many plans. Therefore, if you are in need of an oral cancer screening, do not hesitate to contact us today.

Who Should Get Oral Cancer Screening ln Houston?

All adults should get an oral cancer screening as part of a routine dental check-up. Some dentists perform it annually, while others do it as often as every 6 months.

You may need oral cancer screenings more often if you are at higher risk due to:

  •  Tobacco use – cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookah
  •  Heavy alcohol consumption
  •  HPV infection (human papillomavirus)
  •  A prior history of oral cancer.
  •  Age older than 40

 

Even if you don’t have any major risk factors, an oral cancer screening is part of good preventive health. Screenings allow early detection and treatment if cancer does develop.

What is the Process of Getting an Oral Cancer Screening in Houston?

First, make a dentist appointment and share any risk factors like smoking or alcohol use. On the day of your screening, the dentist or hygienist will examine your entire mouth, feeling the tissues with their fingers and looking for abnormalities.

The visual inspection takes only a few minutes. If they see anything suspicious, the dentist may decide to do tests like:

    •  Brushing the area to collect cells for biopsy
    •  Swishing with a special blue dye that highlights abnormal tissue
    •  Using advanced imaging techniques like fluorescence or toluidine blue staining

 

After the screening, the dentist will discuss the results with you. If anything looks concerning, they may refer you to an oral surgeon or ear, nose, and throat specialist for evaluation, testing, and oral cancer treatment in Houston.

How Often Should I get Oral Cancer Screening in Houston?

Most major health organizations recommend an oral cancer screening at least once per year starting around age 20. People with risk factors may need more frequent screenings, like every 6 months.

Here are some general guidelines on oral cancer screening frequency:

For low-risk adults: Annually

For adults over age 40: Annually

For tobacco users: Every 6 months

For heavy alcohol drinkers: Every 6 months

If you’ve had oral cancer before: Every 3-6 months

If you have HPV: Every 6 months

Talk to your dentist about what makes sense for your individual health and risk factors. They can help you decide on the right screening interval.

Should I get Screened by a Dentist or Doctor?

Both dentists and doctors can perform oral cancer screenings in Houston. At your dental checkups, the dentist and hygienist will inspect your mouth for signs of cancer as part of your regular exam.

Some reasons you may want to have an oral cancer screening done by a doctor instead of at the dentist include:

  •  You don’t have a dentist or avoid going
  •  You have new mouth symptoms and want to promptly rule out cancer
  •  Your dentist found something suspicious they cannot fully evaluate
  •  You are undergoing cancer treatment and need frequent surveillance
  •  You need screening of areas deeper in the throat or voice box

 

In most cases, dentists are well-equipped to do oral cancer screenings. But it’s always an option to have your primary care physician do one instead if you prefer.

Does Insurance Cover Oral Cancer Screening In Houston?

Oral cancer screenings in Houston are covered by most major insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare. The exam portion of the screening at your dental checkup is covered under your dental insurance benefits.

If the dentist orders additional tests like an oral brush biopsy or advanced imaging, that may be covered under your medical insurance. Ask your dentist and insurance company to confirm costs before getting these extra tests done.

If you don’t have dental insurance, some dentists offer free or reduced-cost oral cancer screenings during Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April. There are also low-cost dental clinics like Community Dental Centers that can provide screenings, and services related to restorative dentistry in Houston, on a sliding fee scale based on your income.

What happened if Cancer is Detected during Oral Cancer Treatment?

If the dentist or doctor finds signs of oral cancer or precancer during your screening, don’t panic. Early detection can make a big difference in your oral cancer treatment in Houston options and prognosis.

The first step is to get a biopsy of the abnormal tissue to confirm that cancer is present. This involves numbing the area and removing a tiny sample for testing.

If cancer is confirmed, your dentist or doctor will refer you to a specialist like an oral surgeon, oncologist, otolaryngologist, or radiation oncologist. They will do more testing to stage your cancer, which means gauging its location, size, and extent of spread.

With early-stage oral cancer, surgery, and radiation done on an outpatient basis are very effective. More advanced cancer may require chemo, extensive surgery, or combined treatments. Supportive care is key during and after treatment.

Catching oral cancer early from a screening offers the best chance of survival, minimizes disfigurement from treatment, reduces treatment time, and improves your quality of life after cancer. Don’t delay if an oral cancer screening turns up warning signs. See a specialist promptly for accurate diagnosis and the right care.

What is Survival rate for Early Detected Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer caught at the earliest stages has a survival rate of around 80-90%. This means approximately 80-90% of people will be cured when oral cancer is detected and treated early.

Survival rates decrease sharply as oral cancer grows and spreads. Late-stage cancers that have already metastasized have a survival rate closer to 20-50%.

That’s why regular oral cancer screenings in Houston are so vital for finding lesions and tumors when they are small and most curable. Some figures on 5-year oral cancer survival rates based on stage include:

    •  Stage 1: 83% survive at least 5 years
    •  Stage 2: 64% survive at least 5 years
    •  Stage 3: 48% survive at least 5 years
    •  Stage 4: 20% survive at least 5 years

 

Knowing these statistics highlights the importance of finding cancer through an oral cancer screening before it advances and becomes much harder to treat. Screenings save lives.

Does Oral Cancer Screening Hurts?

An oral cancer screening is very fast and painless. The dentist or doctor simply examines all areas of your mouth thoroughly with their fingers and eyes. There is no discomfort involved in the visual inspection and palpation of the oral tissues.

If a biopsy or cell collection is needed, numbing medication is first applied to the area to keep you comfortable. You may feel some mild pressure or poking during a biopsy but it is not painful due to the numbing. There is rarely any significant pain after the numbness wears off.

The screening itself takes only minutes and is very tolerable. Don’t let fear of pain prevent you from getting this potentially life-saving exam on a regular basis. Speak up if you have any concerns and your dental team can take steps to maximize your comfort.

Can Oral Cancer Screening in Houston Prevent Cancer?

While oral cancer screenings don’t actively prevent cancer, they allow for early detection – which is the next best thing. When abnormalities are found at an initial, localized stage, they can be treated more effectively before growing and spreading.

During your Houston oral cancer screening, the best dentist in Houston will also examine the entire mouth for potential warning signs. If they spot early signs of concern like unusual lesions, they can monitor them closely for any progression over time. Or they may decide to go ahead and biopsy the area to determine if precancerous or cancer cells are present.

Detecting cancer early or removing pre-cancerous lesions during oral cancer screening exams prevents cancer from taking hold in the mouth and becoming dangerous. So in this way, oral cancer screenings can stop cancer before it starts.

What’s the Link Between HPV and Oral Cancer?

Certain high-risk strains of HPV are also responsible for a rising number of oral cancer cases.

HPV spreads through intimate skin-to-skin contact and oral sex. An individual can get throat or tongue HPV from performing oral sex on a partner with HPV in their genital region.

In most healthy people, HPV resolves on its own without complications. But in some, HPV lingers in oral tissues and causes cellular changes that may lead to cancer over time. HPV is now linked to around 70% of oropharyngeal cancers in the US.

If you have HPV, getting regular oral cancer screenings in Houston becomes even more essential for staying vigilant about unusual changes that could indicate cancer. Make sure your dentist knows about your HPV status so they can be extra thorough during exams.

Can Oral Cancer be Prevented?

Certain healthy lifestyle habits may help reduce your risk of developing oral cancer:

    •  Avoid tobacco – any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chew, or snuff. Tobacco use is the #1 risk factor.
    •  Limit alcohol – heavy, frequent drinking raises oral cancer risk.
    •  Eat a balanced diet – emphasize whole foods like fruits and vegetables each day.
    •  Use sun protection – limit UV exposure to the face and lips. Wear lip balm or lipstick with SPF.

 

While oral cancer can happen to anyone, avoiding tobacco and heavy drinking prevents a great number of cases. Get an annual Houston oral cancer screening to catch any lesions early that could become cancerous over time.

Are there at Home oral Screening tests?

There are no definitive at-home oral cancer tests available for sale directly to consumers. Many tests require special tools only a dentist or doctor has access to.

However, you can and should do monthly self-checks of your entire mouth. Using a bright light and mirror, look for any abnormal lumps, bumps, spots, sores, or color changes in the tissues. Run your tongue over your cheeks, gums, floor and roof of the mouth feeling for changes. Note any shifts in teeth fit or loosening.

Let your dentist know immediately if you find anything unusual that persists for 2-3 weeks. Catching early warning signs quickly gives you the best chance of a successful oral cancer treatment in Houston.

But oral self-exams don’t replace professional screening. Only a dentist or doctor can thoroughly examine all the complex oral tissues with their specialized equipment and training.

Do Oral Cancer Screening In Houston have false positives or negative?

As with any medical screening, oral cancer examinations are not 100% perfect tests. It is possible to have a false positive or false negative result. However, dentists are specially trained to interpret screening findings accurately.

False positives mean a screening test detects cancer when the person does not actually have it. This occurs rarely with Houston oral cancer screening but may lead to unnecessary biopsies or worry.

False negatives mean oral cancer is present but the screening incorrectly shows normal results. This is the most dangerous outcome because it allows undetected cancer to advance. But this situation is uncommon with thorough oral screenings performed by dentists.

To guard against false results, your dentist may recommend multiple types of oral cancer screenings over time to confirm their findings. The combination of a meticulous visual exam, palpation, advanced imaging, and biopsy as needed leads to the highest accuracy.

What does it Feel Like to have a Oral Cancer?

Symptoms of oral cancer can vary widely depending on the location of the lesion or tumor. Here are some common sensations:

  •  A mouth sore that bleeds easily and fails to heal
  •  Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth that persists
  •  A lump or thickening in the cheek, tongue, tonsil, or neck
  •  A white or reddish patch in the mouth
  •  Loose teeth or dentures for no apparent reason
  •  Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue
  •  Changes in speech or voice hoarseness
  •  Swelling of the jaw or lymph nodes in the neck
  •  Swelling of the jaw or lymph nodes in the neck
  •  Ear pain on one side only

 

Keep in mind many things like infections can cause these symptoms that are not cancer. But if you notice anything unusual in your mouth or throat that lasts 2 weeks or longer, see a dentist or doctor immediately for prompt evaluation. Don’t ignore mouth changes – early detection of oral cancer saves lives.

Book Your Oral Cancer Screening Today?

Don’t put off this important preventative care. Oral cancer screenings take just minutes but can detect issues early when they are most treatable.

To book a thorough oral cancer screening, contact Dr. Kamila Modern Holistic Dentistry today at (713) 987-7721 or through our online contact form. A quick exam now can save your life.