Dentist049 Alero_Licensed


Dentist050 Alero_Licensed


Oral Cancer Exams

About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be diagnosed with an annual oral cancer exam and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages. Oral cancer is a pathologic process which begins with an asymptomatic stage during which the usual cancer signs may not be readily noticeable. This makes the oral cancer examinations performed by the dentist critically important. Oral cancers can be of varied histologic types such as teratoma, adenocarcinoma and melanoma. The most common type of oral cancer is the malignant squamous cell carcinoma. This oral cancer type usually originates in lip and mouth tissues.

There are many different places in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region in which oral cancers commonly occur including:

  • Face
  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Mouth
  • Salivary Glands
  • Tongue
  • Oropharyngeal Region (throat)

Reasons For Oral Cancer Examinations

Reasons For Examinations:

75 percent of oral cancers are linked with modifiable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. As your dentist we can provide literature and education on making lifestyle changes and smoking cessation. When oral cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, treatment is generally highly effective. Any noticeable changes in your mouth, or surrounding area should be evaluated by a health professional as quickly as possible. During the oral cancer exam, the dentist and dental hygienist will be scrutinizing the maxillofacial and oral regions carefully for signs of pathologic changes. HPV related oral cancers are increasing. Patients with a greater history of oral sex partners are encouraged to get a proactive examination due to their increased risk. The following signs listed below will be investigated during a routine oral cancer exam:

Red Patches & Sores

Red patches on the floor of the mouth, the front, and sides of the tongue, white or pink patches which fail to heal and slow healing sores that bleed easily can be indicative of pathologic (cancerous) changes. Any lesion in the mouth should resolve within 7 to 10 days. If you are concerned about a persistent lesion that is not healing please contact us immediately at 416 925–0154.


This is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear anywhere inside the mouth. Leukoplakia can be cancerous or may become cancerous if treatment is not sought.


Soreness, lumps, or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathological problems.

Oral Cancer Exams: Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis & Treatment

The oral cancer examination is a completely painless process. During the visual part of the examination, we will look for abnormalities and feel the face, lymph nodes, and neck for unusual bumps. If abnormalities, lesions, leukoplakia, or lumps are apparent, we will refer you to a specialist immediately. The biopsy includes a clinical evaluation which will identify the precise stage and grade of the oral lesion. Oral cancer is deemed to be present when the basement membrane of the epithelium has been broken. Malignant types of cancer can readily spread to other places in the oral and maxillofacial regions, posing additional secondary threats. Treatment methods vary according to the precise diagnosis, but may include excision, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. During bi-annual check-ups with us your dentist and hygienist will thoroughly look for changes and lesions in the mouth, but a dedicated comprehensive oral cancer screening should be performed at least once each year. During your homecare routine if you notice any of the visual symptoms listed above, please contact us immediately at 416 925–0154. Email: You can also visit our office to book an appointment with our team of highly trained dentists, specialists, and hygienists at Bathurst College Dentistry. Address: 474 College Street, Suite 103 Toronto, Ontario M6G 1A4