Oral Cancer Signs and Screening

Oral Cancer Signs and Screening


Each year in April, the dental industry raises awareness for oral cancer by designating the month as “Oral Cancer Awareness Month”. It focuses on the protection and prevention of mouth cancers for better overall oral health.

We give you a look at the signs, screening, and how to treat oral cancer 

Signs of Oral Cancer

As with any type of cancer, the earlier it’s detected, the better chance there is to beat it. Unfortunately, the signs of oral cancer can be subtle. Early on, you may not feel pain or discomfort, making it hard to know if cancer is present. That’s why it’s important to have regular screenings each year.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, some symptoms you should keep an eye out for are:

  • Sores and irritations in your mouth, lips, or throat
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, and moving your jaw
  • Numbness in your tongue


If any of these, or others listed in the linked article above, persist for 2 weeks or more, please schedule your appointment with us right away.   

Oral Cancer Screening

We here at Crabtree Valley Dental understand the importance of screening for oral cancers. That’s why we have state-of-the-art screening technology, called Identafi®, to help detect any oral cancers as early as possible. Identafi® uses revolutionary light-wave technology to show abnormalities that could lead to oral cancer. The screening test is simple, painless, and takes less than 3 minutes.    

How Identafi® Oral Cancer Screening Works

Identafi® uses 3 different “light” modes to detect signs of oral cancer; white, fluorescent violet, and green-amber reflectance. 

identafi oral cancer white light mode identafi oral cancer violet mode identafi oral cancer green amber mode

To begin, “White Light” mode looks at your whole mouth on a surface level. Next, the 405-nanometer “Fluorescent Violet Light” is used to identify any areas of abnormal tissue growth, which could be cancerous. Finally, the “Green-Amber Reflectance Light” scans blood vessels around lesions for anything possibly cancerous.

After screening is complete, our Dr.’s will recommend any required next courses of action.

Screening is Important

As you can see, having a regular screening for oral cancer is important for early detection, which leads to a greater chance of recovery. Give us a call at 919-985-7300 or click HERE to book your screening appointment today!