How an oral biopsy is used to detect oral cancer

Drs. Mircea Mitu and George D’Louhy of Manteca, California, are dentists at the Family Dental Center who have dedicated their practice to helping patients of all ages enjoy beautiful and healthy smiles. However, certain conditions can arise over time that might require intervention by our team. Patients who have growths or changes in the mouth’s soft tissues may want to speak to their dentist about them to have them thoroughly evaluated for oral cancer. To diagnose oral cancer, the dentist will perform a biopsy. 

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth’s tissues. It can occur on the lips, tongue, gums, floor of the mouth, and roof of the mouth. Oral cancer may also occur in the salivary glands. With early diagnosis and treatment, many patients will survive oral cancer. Even after treatment, patients should have oral cancer screenings performed at each visit to ensure early detection if it returns.

What are common signs of oral cancer?

The most noticeable symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • A lump or mass in the cheek
  • A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal
  • Pain when chewing
  • Numbness in the tongue or lips
  • Change in voice

How is oral cancer detected?

Oral cancer can be found during screenings and evaluations. Some types of cancer are visible, while others may be harder to detect. That is why routine visits and biopsies are required.

How does an oral biopsy work in diagnosing oral cancer?

An oral biopsy is a standard procedure used to diagnose oral cancer. The biopsy is performed by extracting a small tissue sample from the suspect lesion in the mouth. The tissue is then sent to a lab for examination. If cancer is present, the lab will report the results to your dentist so that a plan of action for treatment can be discussed. Oral biopsies are a safe and relatively painless procedure critical to diagnosing cancer in the oral cavity. Most patients report only minor discomfort after the biopsy.

Schedule an oral cancer screening today

Call Drs. Mircea Mitu and George D’Louhy of Family Dental Center at (209) 420-1205 to request an appointment at their Manteca, CA, area practice.

Dr. Mircea Mitu

Mircea Mitu DDS, FICOI

Dr. Mircea Mitu has almost three decades of dental experience, including nine years of associateship and managing clinical practices in the East Bay Area and several years of practice and academic positions in prosthodontics. Before setting up his practice, he completed hundreds of hours in postgraduate dentistry. He has attended prestigious organizations like the UCLA Center for Aesthetic Program and Misch International Implant Institute.

Dr. Mitu is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and San Joaquin County Dental Association and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.