While most people are aware about what cancer is and how it can impact the body, many people are unaware that cancer can also affect the mouth, lips and sinuses. Oral cancer is the growth of cells in an uncontrollable manner. This exponential growth starts to damage the tissues that surround the growth. Oral cancer is considered life threatening.
Signs of Oral Cancer
There are many different types of oral cancer signs. These signs can impact a range of different places inside the mouth, including the tongue, gums, and other areas. The signs of oral cancer can also be located along the jaw, face, and neck. There may also be ear pain. Common signs of oral cancer may include the following:
- Sores in the mouth, on the face or on the neck that bleed and do not heal within 2 weeks
- Patches in the mouth that are red, velvety white or white/red speckled
- Lumps, bumps, or swellings in the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding
- Unexplained numbness or tenderness in the mouth, face or neck
- Ear pain
- Chronic sore throat or changes in the voice
- Difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the tongue or jaw
- Unexplained drastic weight loss
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can impact both men and women, although men are twice as likely to experience this medical issue. Also, men over the age of 50 are at a greater risk of developing this type of cancer.
People who excessively smoke and drink are also at a higher risk. Smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing and tobacco and snuff, also lead to a higher chance of developing cancer in the gums, lips and cheeks.
If your family has a history of cancer, getting a screening for oral cancer is recommended. A screening is also recommended for people who have the human papillomavirus (HPV). Excessive sun exposure can also lead to oral cancer in very young people.
One thing that people should understand about is that oral cancer can impact anyone. Even if you do not smoke or if you only drink occasionally, there is still a risk.
Getting Screened for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer screenings are available. Here at Parke and Rogers Dentistry, we provide enhanced oral cancer screenings to our patients. These screenings involve using Oral ID technology. We use a blue light that is designed to identify abnormal lesions, pre-cancer signs and oral cancer.
By identifying oral cancer early, we can determine the best treatment for our patients. Oral cancer is treated in the same way as other cancers, such as removing the growths that are cancerous and performing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Early detection can increase a person’s survival rate.
Maintain Good Oral Health
Parke and Rogers Dentistry provides exceptional dentistry for all of our patients. From dental cleanings to crowns and oral cancer screenings, we are here to provide top quality dental services. Our friendly environment and pleasant staff is here to help. Contact us today to set up an appointment or to ask about our services.