Here at Coastal Jaw Surgery, we’ve helped numerous patients in and around the Tampa Bay area at our offices in Palm Harbor, Trinity, and Spring Hill improve their oral aesthetics and health. Among the many life-changing procedures we perform are pathology and biopsy services.
As with many other conditions and diseases of the oral cavity, the chances of successful treatment of oral cancer are much better if it is detected in the earliest stages. Oral cancers are the most prevalent form of disease in the head and neck, and early stages typically do not present painful or discomforting symptoms. This is why it is important to check for oral cancer even if no symptoms are apparent. If oral cancer screenings detect any abnormalities, our surgeons can perform a biopsy for a more thorough analysis, and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Since early detection is key, here are some quick facts about when we might perform biopsy and pathology services and oral cancer screenings.
Oral Cancer Screenings: The Importance of Early Detection
It cannot be overstated that although the risk factors may not apply to you, and you may not be experiencing any outward signs of oral cancer, it is still very important to undergo regular screenings.
During an oral cancer screening, the dentist will inspect the inside of your mouth for any abnormal tissue that could indicate cancerous or precancerous conditions. This process often involves the use of a tool such as a VELscope®, which uses a special blue light to reveal suspicious lesions that a visual inspection alone often cannot detect. If the dentist finds any lesions, he or she may recommend a biopsy. This involves removing a small sample of the tissue for testing by a pathologist. Our doctors can provide a thorough and accurate biopsy to determine if these lesions are a cause for concern, and can coordinate further analysis by a specialist.
Oral Cancer: Signs and Risk Factors
Oral cancer can occur on the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, sinuses, pharynx, and throat. Although oral cancer does not always present obvious signs, indications of cancerous or precancerous tissue can include:
- Lumps, rough spots, or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other oral tissues
- Red or white patches
- Chronic sores
- A sore throat that does not go away
- Numbness in or around the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving the tongue
Meanwhile, several factors can increase a patient’s risk of developing oral cancer:
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco
- Heavy alcohol use
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- A previous oral cancer diagnosis
- Significant exposure to ultraviolet light
- HPV (human papilloma virus)
Schedule an Appointment
Oral cancer is a serious diagnosis, but it can be overcome when it is detected in its earliest stages. If you are not currently undergoing oral cancer screenings as part of your regular six-month dental checkups, you owe it to yourself to seek treatment from a practice that provides this service. Meanwhile, if a screening reveals a suspicious lesion, the team at Coastal Jaw Surgery can perform a biopsy to determine if further tests are necessary, and place you in touch with the specialists necessary to provide the prompt, effective care you deserve. Call us at 1-800-NEW-LOOK or use the contact form below to request an appointment. If you have any questions about whether we accept your insurance or other payment options, do not hesitate to ask.
Call us today at 1-800-NEW-LOOK (Outside Florida: 727-877-0011) to learn more about the cost of dental implants or use the contact form below to reach out to us. We have locations in Palm Harbor, Trinity, and Spring Hill for your convenience.