Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screening is a proactive examination conducted by our dentists in South Plainfield, NJ, to detect early signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions in the mouth. This thorough assessment involves visually inspecting the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, throat, and other oral tissues, looking for abnormalities such as red or white patches, ulcers, lumps, or swelling. Additionally, dentists may utilize advanced screening tools such as oral cancer screening devices or fluorescence technology to aid in the detection of suspicious areas.

The importance of oral cancer screening cannot be overstated, as early detection significantly improves treatment outcomes and survival rates. Dentists can facilitate prompt intervention and treatment by identifying oral cancer in its initial stages, potentially saving lives and preserving oral health. Regular oral cancer screening is crucial, especially for individuals at higher risk, such as tobacco users, heavy drinkers, or those with a family history of oral cancer, as it offers a proactive approach to detecting and addressing this potentially life-threatening disease. 

Who Should Undergo Oral Cancer Screening? 

  • All adults should consider regular oral cancer screenings as part of their preventive healthcare routine.  
  • Those who use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco 
  • Heavy drinkers, particularly those who consume alcohol excessively or have a history of alcohol abuse  
  • Individuals with a history of prolonged sun exposure to the lips or oral cavity, which can increase the risk of lip cancer  
  • Those with a family history of oral cancer or a personal history of previous oral cancer or precancerous lesions  
  • Individuals experiencing persistent symptoms such as a sore throat, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or a lump in the throat or mouth  
  • Those with persistent oral symptoms such as mouth ulcers, red or white patches in the mouth, or changes in the appearance of the oral tissues  
  • Individuals with suspicious lesions or abnormalities identified during routine dental examinations or self-examinations
  • Those with lesions that do not heal within two weeks or that exhibit changes in size, color, texture, or shape  
  • Individuals infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly certain high-risk strains associated with oral cancer  
  • Individuals who have undergone radiation therapy to the head or neck region for previous cancer treatment are at an increased risk of developing secondary cancers, including oral cancer. Contact us today to learn more!

The Oral Cancer Screening Procedure 

Oral cancer screening begins with a comprehensive oral cavity examination performed by our dentist at Park Avenue Dental. During the examination, our healthcare provider visually inspects the lips, gums, tongue, roof, and floor of the mouth, as well as the throat and tonsils, for any abnormalities or suspicious lesions.  

Using specialized tools such as mirrors and lights, the dentist thoroughly examines the tissues for changes in color, texture, size, or shape that may indicate the presence of oral cancer. Additionally, palpation of the neck and lymph nodes may be performed to detect any swelling or tenderness, which could suggest the spread of cancerous cells.  

In some cases, healthcare providers may utilize adjunctive screening tools to enhance the detection of oral cancer. These may include toluidine blue dye, which highlights abnormal cells when applied to the oral tissues, or fluorescence visualization devices like VELscope, which emit specific wavelengths of light to identify potentially cancerous lesions that may not be visible to the naked eye. These adjunctive screening methods can aid in the early detection of oral cancer by identifying suspicious areas that warrant further evaluation.  

If abnormalities or suspicious lesions are detected during the oral cancer screening, our dentist may recommend a biopsy for a definitive diagnosis. During a biopsy, a small tissue sample is collected from the affected area and sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. The biopsy results determine whether the lesion is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), guiding further treatment decisions.  

Early detection through oral cancer screening significantly improves the prognosis and treatment outcomes for individuals diagnosed with oral cancer, highlighting the importance of regular screenings as part of preventive healthcare.  

The Benefits of Oral Cancer Screening 

Early Detection 

Oral cancer screening in South Plainfield, NJ, allows for the early detection of potentially cancerous lesions or abnormalities in the oral cavity. Early detection significantly improves the prognosis and treatment outcomes for individuals diagnosed with oral cancer. 

Improved Survival Rates 

Screening can detect oral cancer in its early stages and lead to prompt diagnosis and treatment, resulting in higher survival rates and better long-term outcomes for patients. 

Preventive Healthcare 

Oral cancer screening is an essential component of preventive healthcare, helping to identify individuals at risk of developing oral cancer before symptoms manifest. Screening enables proactive measures to reduce the risk of cancer development or progression. 

Reduced Treatment Morbidity 

Early detection through oral cancer screening may allow for less aggressive and more conservative treatment options, reducing the morbidity associated with cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. 


Oral cancer screening is a cost-effective strategy, as early detection and treatment of oral cancer can prevent the need for more extensive and expensive interventions at later stages of the disease.  

Patient Education and Awareness 

Oral cancer screening provides healthcare providers with an opportunity to educate patients about risk factors for oral cancer, promote healthy lifestyle behaviors, and raise awareness about the importance of regular screenings. 

Oral cancer screening is a vital tool in preventive healthcare, allowing for early detection and intervention for oral cancer. Visit Park Avenue Dental at 160 Oak Tree Ave., South Plainfield, NJ 07080, or call (908) 757-3200 to schedule your oral cancer screening now and safeguard your well-being.


160 Oak Tree Ave.,
South Plainfield, NJ 07080

Office Hours

MON9:00 am - 6:00 pm

TUE9:00 am - 5:00 pm

WED7:00 am - 5:00 pm

THU9:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI7:00 am - 1:00 pm

SAT - SUNClosed