Head and Neck Cancer Screenings

Tulsa dental patient smiling after learning his head and neck cancer screening by his dentist at T-Town Smiles.Head and neck cancers are those that often start in the squamous cells that line the moist mucosal tissues inside of the head and neck, including the nose, mouth, and throat. The largest group of head and neck cancers is oral cancer. This is a type of cancer that starts in the mouth. It may begin just about anywhere in the mouth, such as the tongue, lips, gums, cheeks, or palate. Detecting and treating head and neck cancers in their earliest stages is essential for eliminating the cancer and restoring your health. At T-Town Smiles, we can detect signs and symptoms of these cancers with head and neck cancer screenings.


Risk Factors for Head and Neck Cancers

Like any other disease, head and neck cancer can affect anyone. There are, however, a few factors that can increase your risk. Some of these factors are controllable while others are not. Risk factors for head and neck cancers include:

  • Smoking or using other tobacco products. This is one of the biggest risk factors for oral cancer and throat cancer.
  • Consuming alcohol. The occasional drink may not increase your risk, but if you drink a significant amount, your risk for head and neck cancers increases.
  • Certain strains of HPV.
  • A family history of head and neck cancer.
  • Age. Older adults are at greater risk.
  • Sex. Men are more likely than women to develop head and neck cancer.


Signs and Symptoms

The earliest warning signs of head and neck cancer are often difficult to detect on your own. You might never know that there is anything wrong. By the time you begin to notice something wrong, the cancer has spread, which can make it more difficult to treat. This is why routine dental visits are so important. We are experienced in detecting the earliest warning signs of head and neck cancer, allowing you to get the treatment you need right away. Symptoms of head and neck cancer include:

  • Red or white patches.
  • Unusual growths.
  • Sores that refuse to heal.
  • Changes in your bite.
  • Numbness in your chin.
  • Trouble eating, speaking, and swallowing.


Screening for Head and Neck Cancer

Screenings for head and neck cancer are performed during your routine dental exams. The process is quick, simple, and completely painless. We look at your face, checking for abnormalities, swelling, asymmetry, and moles. Your lips are looked over for signs of changes in color and texture. Your lymph nodes are examined for swelling.

In addition to looking at your face, we also take a look inside your mouth. We look over the insides of your lips, your cheeks, your gums, and your tongue. What we are looking for is changes in the tissues, such as growths, lesions, and other abnormalities. If something is discovered, you will have an additional exam that may also include a soft tissue biopsy to make a firm diagnosis. This process involves removing a small piece of the abnormality so that it can be examined under a microscope. If head and neck cancer is diagnosed, you will then be recommended for treatment.

Early detection of head and neck cancer is crucial for getting the treatment you need to eliminate the disease and restore your oral health as well as your quality of life. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, contact T-Town Smiles at 918-488-9770 today.

Accepting New Patients

Looking for a full-service dentist in Tulsa?

At the office of Dr. Scott Street, we offer stress-free family care using modern technology and an old-fashioned personal approach. We provide a full selection of dental treatments, from routine cleanings to top-quality dental restorations. If you are looking for a full-service family dentist in Tulsa, OK, call us today at 918-481-4922 or use our online Appointment Request form.


Office Location

6565 South Yale Avenue
Suite 1107 (11th Floor)
Tulsa, OK 74136

Phone: 918-481-4922
Fax: 918-481-4969

Office Hours

Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm

Additional times are available.

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Dr. Scott Street and the team at T-Town Smiles are proud to be the local Tulsa Dentist serving families in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Oakhurst, Bixby, Glenpool and surrounding Tulsa communities.