Content – Oral Cancer


Did you know that every day about 100 adults are diagnosed with oral cancer in the U.S.? And, unfortunately, most of these instances of cancer are not identified until the late stages of development, which leads to a high rate of death. This doesn’t have to be the case! When found at early stages of development, oral cancer has a survival rate approaching 90 percent. That’s why each time you visit Dr. Helton, you will experience a thorough oral cancer screening. Dr. Helton and her team monitor your oral tissue very closely, making a note of any changes over time. Even though you may not realize it, your lips, inner cheeks, gums, tongue and other soft tissues are being examined during every visit. And you can help. Make sure you mention any tender areas or sores you may have, especially if you can’t remember what caused the injury or if they persist longer than a couple of weeks. Our goal is to stay ahead of any developing problems by being proactive and diligent in our care.



A Velscope screening takes only a matter of minutes and can identify potential problem areas that the naked eye can’t see. The Velscope emits a high-energy blue light that illuminates the tissues in your mouth. Then, the dental team views these tissues through special optical filters. Any irregular tissues emit different, usually darker fluorescence patterns, which alert the dental team that a closer look is necessary. Dr. Helton and her team will evaluate all of the soft tissues in your mouth to ensure there are no areas of concern, and will monitor any changes that take place from visit to visit. You can feel confident knowing your extended oral health is in good hands!