Oral Cancer Specialist

Westside Dentistry

Cosmetic & General Dentistry located in Santa Monica, CA

More than 10 in 100,000 adults develop oral cancer, and rates often peak between ages 60 and 70. If you experience long-lasting mouth sores, mouth pain, or other signs of oral cancer, father-daughter team Charles Wood, DDS, and Jennifer Wood, DDS, can diagnose and treat your condition to prevent serious complications. To schedule an oral cancer screening, call Westside Dentistry, located in Santa Monica, California, or use the online booking tool today.

Oral Cancer Q & A


What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a form of cancer that can appear on your lips, gums, tongue, floor, or roof of your mouth, tonsils, throat, or inside of your cheeks. Detecting and treating oral cancer in its early stages offers you the best chance of beating it by reducing its risk of spreading.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

The following signs and symptoms might indicate you have oral cancer:

  • Non-healing lip or mouth sores
  • Mouth or ear pain
  • Loose teeth
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • A lump or growth in your mouth
  • Painful swallowing

If these or other unusual symptoms don’t subside on their own, see Westside Dentistry providers to get screened for oral cancer.

What are the risk factors for oral cancer?

Anyone can develop oral cancer, but the following factors can increase your risk of it:

  • Being a man
  • Excessive sun exposure to the lips
  • Tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • A weak immune system
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Men are about twice as likely as women to get oral cancer. Excessive smokers and drinkers over 50 have the highest risk of developing it.

How is oral cancer diagnosed?

To diagnose oral cancer, your Westside Dentistry provider examines your lips and mouth to look for sores, white patches, and skin irritation. They might take a tissue biopsy so a lab can analyze and detect cancerous cells. Your dentist might also take X-rays.

How is oral cancer treated?

If an oral cancer screening at Westside Dentistry reveals you have cancer, your provider can remove cancerous tissue or refer you to a qualified specialist in your area. In the case of advanced stages of oral cancer, you may require targeted drug therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

To reduce your risk of developing oral cancer, avoid smoking and using other tobacco products. Reduce your intake of or avoid drinking alcohol. Get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet. Avoid excessive sun exposure to your face and lips, and see the Westside Dentistry team regularly for routine cleanings, dental exams, and oral cancer screenings.

Don’t let oral cancer go undetected and untreated, and lead to serious complications. Schedule an appointment with Westside Dentistry by calling the office or using the online booking tool today.