Be assured that every time Dr Amble inspects the soft tissues of the mouth , [ tongue and inside cheeks] he is carefully checking for a variety of possible oral lesions. Some of these variations from normal may simply be ” frictional keratosis” which is cheek or lip biting habits . More significant might be Squamous Cell Carcinoma which is cancer typically found under the tongue . This type of cancer is commonly associated with higher consumption of alcohol . Another concern he is checking for is called Thrush . This originates from a fungal infection . Some herbal extract toothpastes can cause gray patches within the cheeks which would be noted but is not alarming. Tobacco use is certainly a significant factor in oral cancer , however recent research has shown that a cigarette may be more likely to cause cancer versus chewing tobacco . This is associated with the heat of the cigarette . Just 2-3% of all cancers in the human body are oral cancers, but with the illumination [ overhead dental light] and the magnification of Dr Amble’s scopes [ those funny- looking glasses] , you can be assured that his visual inspection is most comprehensive .
This information was submitted by our hygienist, Vicki F., after she attended an oral pathology update course presented by Dr John Koutlas, DDS, MS from the University of Minnesota .