Monday, May 16, 2011

New Technology in Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers today and has one of the lowest survival rates. The number of oral cancer cases has been increasing every year for the past five years. One person dies every hour from oral cancer in the United States. The primary cause of oral cancer related deaths is late detection. Although tobacco and alcohol use are associated with oral cancer, anyone over the age of 18 is at risk.  Those over the age of 40, especially men, are considered high risk for developing oral cancer.

Roselle Dental is now able to offer our patients the latest technology in detecting oral cancer. In addition to the standard oral cancer examination you receive at your bi-annual recare visit, we can now perform the ViziLite Plus exam.  ViziLite is an easy and painless oral rinse that allows us to perform a more thorough examination of any oral abnormalities you may have. After rinsing with the solution, we use a specially designed light to examine your mouth for any abnormalities. Clinical studies have determined that using ViziLite Plus improves the dental professional’s ability to identify and evaluate suspicious areas at their earliest stages. Early detection of pre-cancerous tissue can minimize or eliminate potentially fatal effects of oral cancer.

Anyone over the age of 18 is recommended to have this exam performed annually.
If you have any questions regarding the ViziLite Plus exam, feel free to contact our office or ask at your next visit.

Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, but the tongue appears to be the most common location. Other oral structures could include the lips, gums and other soft palate tissues in the mouth.

Warning Signs

In general, early signs of oral cancer usually occur in the form of lumps, patchy areas and lesions, or breaks, in the tissues of the mouth. In many cases, these abnormalities are not painful in the early stages, making even self-diagnosis difficult.

Here are some additional warning signs:
  • Hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.
  • Unusual bleeding or persistent sores in the mouth that won't heal.
  • Lumps or growths in other nearby areas, such as the throat or neck.
If a tumor is found, surgery will generally be required to remove it. Some facial disfigurement could also result.


Prevention is the key to staving off oral cancer. One of the biggest culprits is tobacco and alcohol use. Certain kinds of foods and even overexposure to the sun have also been linked to oral cancer. Some experts believe certain oral cancer risk factors are also hereditary.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is one of the best defenses against oral cancer. Maintaining good oral hygiene, and regular dental checkups, are highly recommended.

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