Early, Detectable Signs of Oral Cancer

Early, Detectable Signs of Oral Cancer

May 14, 2020

Cancer is a disease that can be attributed to an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body. These abnormal cells are commonly referred to as cancerous or malignant cells.

Cancer can also be defined as an uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and damage the surrounding tissues.

Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, occurs anywhere in the mouth that may include the tongue, lips, cheeks, and gums. It may also affect your salivary glands, sinuses, larynx, and pharynx.

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer and is categorized as oral and oropharyngeal cancer.

Early Detection Is Key

Early detection is fundamental in combating this disease. This is why it is crucial for you and your loved ones to keep your regular dental appointments. This is because routine dental checkups give our dentist a chance to perform a physical oral examination.

This examination will focus on the whole oral cavity and lips, face, and neck area looking for any possible signs of oral cancer.

Having regular oral cancer screenings can help detect oral cancer at an early stage and significantly improve your treatment options and increase your chances of recovery.

In addition to having regular dental checkups, you should familiarize yourself with the early signs of oral cancer. This will enable you to detect anything amiss and bring it up during your next dental visit for our dentist to examine and rule out any sign of oral cancer.

Common Early Signs of Oral Cancer

Depending on where it initially develops, oral cancer can be detected through various symptoms. Here are some of the common symptoms you can look out for:

  • A persistent sore throat
  • Areas in your mouth or lips that have red or white lesions
  • An earache in either one of your ears that is not accompanied with any loss of hearing
  • Any sores, lumps, patches or swellings anywhere within or around your oral cavity or throat
  • Any unexplained numb feeling, tenderness or pain around your tongue and mouth, face or neck
  • Having any loose teeth that cannot be linked to any dental issue
  • Throat hoarseness
  • Feeling like you have a constant lump stuck in your throat
  • Problematic swallowing
  • If you are having trouble with speaking or chewing properly
  • Have a rigid jaw or tongue
  • Any swellings that are making it difficult for you to wear your dentures
  • Eroded sections on your lips, gums or within the mouth
  • Any unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Developing persistent, bleeding sores on your face, neck area or mouth that show no signs of healing within two weeks

It is essential to notify your doctor or dentist immediately you notice any of the above symptoms. Especially if any symptom persists for more than two weeks.

Let your dentist check out the symptom and conduct a thorough oral cancer screening. This could end up saving your life by giving you a fighting chance against the disease.

What Factors Can Increase Your Risk Of Getting Oral Cancer?

Although it is not clear what exactly causes oral cancer, there are lifestyle factors that can live you more predisposed to getting mouth cancer.

Here are some of the factors:

  • Heavy consumption of alcohol. Oral cancer has been discovered to occur more in drinkers than in non-drinkers.
  • Excessive smoking
  • Using any form of tobacco. whether it’s in cigarettes, pipes, snuff or chewing forms can introduce carcinogenic substances into your mouth or throat increasing your risk of suffering from oral cancer
  • Overexposure to the sun can make you develop lip cancer
  • Contracting the human papillomavirus (HPV). This sexually transmitted infection has been linked to oral cancer
  • A history of cancer in your family
  • Have a weakened or compromised immune system

Regular Screening and Treatment

Our dentist can conduct oral cancer examinations that are essential for the early detection of mouth cancer. During your routine dental visits, our dentist can conduct your oral exam that may involve examining your lips, face, tongue, and mouth for any visible symptoms.

The examination may also include your jawline and neck area. Oral cancer screenings should be carried out every six months, especially if you are exposed to any predisposing risk factors.

If our dentist finds anything amiss, they may order a series of more tests and biopsies to find out if cancerous cells are, in fact, present.

If the diagnosis is positive for malignant cells, then treatment commences. Treatment may involve surgery, followed by a series of radiation and chemotherapy sessions.

At Union Ave Dental, we believe that early detection of oral cancer gives our patients a chance to fight against this disease. Contact us today.

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