How do dentists diagnose oral cancer?

Exam and biopsy. They observe abnormal looking areas of the mouth and tongue or gums lining and can biopsy suspicious areas.
Biopsy. By directed history taking and examination, suspicious areas might be biopsied.
Biopsy. If you have a lesion that does not heal in a few days to weeks or if the lesion grows, the dentist will send you for a biopsy.
Biopsy. The only way to diagnose a malignancy is by a biopsy of the suspicious lesion.

Related Questions

Think I have oral cancer but scared of dentists. What other options do I have?

You could wait, but. Waiting is a stupid idea. See a general dentist, oral surgeon, perhaps an ENT MD, or even an internist, but see someone ASAP! What are you waiting for? Read more...
None. None. Oral cancer eventually becomes fatal. See oral surgeon or ENT doc ASAP. Early oral cancer is very curable. Read more...

What path should I follow in order to understand early on whether I have oral cancer? Do I need to see a dentist every 6 months?

Oral Cancer. Oral cancer rates at your age are rare, approx 1 in 125,000. Rates go up with tobacco use, and rise even more with drinking while smoking. Oral cancer can be painless, and physical changes may not be obvious to the untrained eye. Any lesion that has not healed in 14 days should be examined. Visiting your dentist every six months is always a good idea. http://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/ Read more...
Several choices. Seeing a dentist is a good start. Dentist do physical exam,s surface, incisional or excisional biopsies. Self examination for new growths, ulcers or sores, changes in color, firmness or contour of soft tissues. Dentists often refer to oral surgeons or oral pathologists for further evaluation. There are also many conditions which mimick cancer but are not malignant. Regular visits a good start. Read more...
Only. Only if you want to remain healthy. Your Dentist has more than 10,000 hours training, years of experience, and an office full of sophisticated equipment designed to help the Dentist keep you healthy. Periodic Dental Examinations allows the Dentist to activate all these systems to your benefit. Between examinations don't smoke...anything. Don't abuse alcohol. Read more...
See DDS. Have your dentist perform an oral cancer screen, if problematic you may be referred to an oral surgeon or MD. Read more...

I saw my dentist 2-3 weeks ago, would they have noticed if I had oral cancer? I don't show signs/symptoms but my cheeks tend to peel

Would have noticed. Oral cancer is exceedingly rare at your age and would not cause peeling of the cheeks. And for sure your dentist would have noticed if you had oral cancer. Why is it even on your mind? Are you worried about HPV? Even that causes throat cancer, not mouth; also is rare, despite recent media publicity about it; and almost never causes cancer before age 40-50. Read more...
Next visit. It is very unlikely that you have oral cancer. It is not safe to assume that dentist would have noted oral cancer, as it may be beyond the usually visible mucosa. There is no urgency, but at your next visit you should request your dentist or your doctor for an assessment for oral cancer. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex. Get HPV vaccine. Read more...
I hope so. Dentists are trained to examine patients for signs of oral cancer. A white patch for more than two weeks, a lump or an open sore that won't heal should all be checked. For your cheeks if you are not sunburned or using meds on your skin ask your dermatologist to check it out. Sounds like you're fine. Read more...
Of course. Cancer screening protocols: a thorough oral, head and neck cancer examination performed at each recall dental appointment. No exceptions. This is a standard of dental care in USA. Read more...
Contact DDS. If you have any concerns, return back to the dentist, ask for a referral to an oral surgeon or contact your primary care MD. Read more...
Oral cancer. Oral cancer examination protocols are followed at each Dental examination. If you are not a smoker, do not consume alcohol in excess, at your age Oral cancer is rare. What's peeling? If the outside of your cheeks see a Dermatologist. If the inside, see an Oral Surgeon. And take a list with you of all Meds, supplements, and vitamins. Read more...
Could be our toothpa. We have several patients that are sensitive to a particular ingredient in some big name toothpastes. There is a high occurrence of reactions to the anti-tartar ingredient and to the Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (a detergent) that can cause sloughing of the inner lining of the cheeks and gums. Read more...

If you suspect possible oral cancer, should you see primary care physician, or dentist? Thanks

Dentist. Dentist are doctors of the mouth. Here is the approach if i may be so bold. A dentist will/should look first. Hopefully he works in microscopic loupes. Use velscope to look for suspicious lesions. Oral dna labs has a saliva hpv test. Oral hpv can transition into cancer. The biggest increase in oral cancer is 19-29 years of age. If oral cancer is suspected a biopsy is still the gold standard. Read more...
Dentist first. . A dentist would be your first step for a thorough oral cancer screening. There are various ways with no one particular device, or method. Generally it begins with a visual inspection, followed by an evaluation and possible biopsy of suspicious non-healing lesions, and then proper referral to a specialist to manage the treatment. There are various types of oral lesions with a variety of etiologies. Read more...
Dentist/Oral Surgeon. An oral surgeon or a well-trained general dentist can evaluate the area and perform a biopsy which is necessary to diagnose the problem correctly. Read more...

I have a white hardened layer over my gums in my mouth. Originally my dentist said it was a callous but it has spread now. Is it oral cancer?

Biopsy. It may be time to see an oral surgeon for an evaluation and may be biopsy of the lesion so that the tissue may be examined by a pathologist. Read more...
Gum area. There are many things that can cause this kind of thing. An oral surgeon has the training and knowledge to determine what it is. See an oral surgeon. Read more...
No. Have the calculus (tarter) professionally removed...it causes gum/bone recession. Have your Dentist teach you how to keep it from reforming. Read more...
DDS evaluation. Get a definitive diagnosis from your dentist. You mention that the dentist stated that calculus is present, after a through prophy, your issues should be remedied. If the dentist feels that you need to follow through with scaling and root planing or an evaluation with a periodontist- do it. Read more...

General dentist said he was concerned that a white spot in the mouth should be biopsied to rule out oral cancer. Who does it--an md or dds?

DMD/DDS=Dentist. A dentist should perform an intraoral biopsy. In some cases, your general dentist may prefer to refer you to an oral surgeon--based upon his/her level of experience and expertise. In addition, you should verify that the surgeon sends the specimen to an oral pathologist for microscopic examination. Or, at the very least, be sure that the general pathologist is aware that it is an oral specimen. Read more...
Oral Surgeon. Refer to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for evaluation and possible biopsy. Dentists/oral surgeons have greater familiarity with changes in oral tissue. Read more...
A dds. A dentist or dds should be able to bossy it for you. An otolaryngologist would be good, too. Read more...
DDS OF CORSE. Your dentist has a duty to examine you mouth for oral cancer as a part of the semiannual checkup and cleaning...Not your md.. Read more...
Oral Lesions. Overwhelmingly, dentists are the first ones to discover and then biopsy suspicious oral lesions. Many general dentists perform biopsies although most gd's refer patients to oral surgeons. That is not to say physicians such as ent's don't. The majority of oral growths are small, near the surface and easily removed. It's not a big deal. It's usually a 5 minute procedure start to finish. Read more...
Oral surgeon/DDS. An oral surgeon or your dentist can perform excisional biopsy. The procedure often can be done in the dentist's or surgeon's office. Read more...

Oral cancer screening 3 months ago (used velscope) & dentist checked my mouth this morning. I have a bump. He's not worried. Second opinion?

Depends. A history and evaluation of the "bump" is necessary. Where, how long, pain, increasing in size, color, texture, etc. Also, is the dentist who found your "bump" doing a follow-up with you? If so, wait...But not too long, if it does not go away. As a note, "bad" things usually do not "hurt" much at first, if at all. So if it "hurts" that is usually not a bad sign. Second opinions never hurt. Read more...
No need to. Have a close follow up with your dentist so your dentist can follow up on the bump. If it changes in appearance- looks more suspicious to your dentist that he will tell you that and either will do a biopsy himself or refer you to see an oral surgeon accordingly. However, everybody is entitled to get a second opinion- if that is what you want- that would be up to you. Read more...
Maybe. It really depends on where the bump is and the look, feel, and history of the bump. It could be something as simple as a fibrous or fatty tissue lump called a fibroma or a lipoma, to a blocked minor salivary gland. As with anything, if you are not comfortable, a second opinion is never a bad idea. Read more...
Velscope and Visual. Never hurts to get a second opinion. Really depends on how long the lesion has been there, location, size, pain, blood supply, risk factors. The velscope is a nice tool, but close monitoring is always a good idea. Have your dentist take pictures and monitor even potential benign lesions. Read more...
Why worry. Don't waste time worrying, it does you no good! the velscope provides a lot of false positives and probably scares more people than it saves. However, it has helped countless people ward off cancer quickly. If no treatment was recommended and you want to know for sure, go to an oral surgeon and they can help you out. Read more...

Have high risk hpv (but not 16 or 18). What are the chances and the symptoms of oral cancer? Just graduated college--drank heavily. Dentist unhelpful

No worries. Only certain throat cancers, not oral cancer in general, is due to HPV; and those cancers are caused only by HPV16. So you definitely are not at risk from your current HPV infection. And despite all the media attention to oral cancer from HPV, it remains rare, far less common than other cancers like breast, lung, colon, even in people with oral HPV16 (which you probably don't have). No worries! Read more...
Hints. There is currently no HPV treatment to cure HPV itself. Most HPV infections are harmless, do not require treatment, and go away by themselves. Treatment is available for the abnormal cell changes in the cervix that are caused by HPV. Common treatments include colposcopy, cryotherapy, and LEEP. - See gyn for regular follow ups. Read more...