Are You Due for an Oral Cancer Screening? By Jin Ha Joung on January 30, 2020

Young female patient undergoes oral cancer screening at dentist officeAccording to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 53,500 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2020. To help our Ridgewood, NJ, and Bergen County, NJ, patients detect early signs of oral cancer, our office offers the ViziLite® Plus light-based detection system.

Oral cancer screenings can save your life because the early stages of oral cancer are more easily treated. The entire process typically takes only a few minutes to complete, and there is no notable discomfort.

How Often Do I Need to Undergo Oral Cancer Screening?

The Oral Cancer Foundation recommends that patients undergo their first oral cancer screening at age 18 with subsequent screenings planned each year after that. The doctors of Ridgewood Dental Associates will provide you with a personalized recommendation of how often you should undergo oral cancer screenings.

It is important to remember that these screenings are non-invasive and can be completed in only a few minutes. The screenings can be scheduled during your regular cleanings and exam. One of our doctors will consider known risk factors for oral cancer when recommending the frequency of your screenings.


Although cancer can develop at any age, individuals over age 45 have an increased risk of developing oral cancer, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The average age of oral cancer diagnosis is 60 years old, according to The NYU Oral Cancer Center.


Historically, men were diagnosed with oral cancer at a rate of six to one. That statistic has narrowed to two to one, according to NYU Oral Cancer Center.

Alcohol Consumption

There is a strong correlation between heavy alcohol consumption and oral cancer. If you are a mild to moderate consumer of alcohol (up to four drinks a day for men and three for women), you likely do not fall into this risk factor for oral cancer.

Tobacco Use

An incredible 85 percent of neck and head cancers are linked to tobacco use, according to The American Society of Clinical Oncology. These products include cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, e-cigarettes, and cigarettes.

The cancers tend to manifest in areas where the tobacco products came into contact with tissue. Smokers who use pipes are more likely to develop cancer of the lips, while chewing tobacco is more likely to be linked to cancer of the gums, cheeks, and inner surface of the lips.

HPV16 Virus

Oropharyngeal and tonsil cancers are associated with human papilloma virus (HPV16) infection, which can be prevented through vaccinations.

Family History

If your family has a history of developing oral cancer, you should consider regular oral cancer screenings. Like many forms of cancer, genetics play a role in who develops certain types of cancer.

Protect Your Future by Scheduling Your Oral Cancer Screening Today

Oral cancer screenings are affordable, effective, and convenient. If you are advanced in age or have risk factors for oral cancer, our doctors can conduct a quick and comfortable screening of the soft tissues of your mouth using our advanced ViziLite® Plus light-based detection system.

Early detection can allow you to undergo less invasive treatment options. To learn more or schedule your oral cancer screening, please contact our office online or call (201) 580-3781.

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Drs. Jin Ha Joung, Mark Samani, and Min-Hee Cho.

Ridgewood Dental Associates

At Ridgewood Dental Associates in Bergen County, we pride ourselves on being able to handle virtually all of your needs in a single location. Dr. Jin Ha Joung, Dr. Mark Samani, and Dr. Min-Hee Cho are affiliated with:

  • American College of Prosthodontists
  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • Academy of Osseointegration
  • American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • American Dental Association

For more information about our services, contact our office or call (201) 652-2474 today.

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