Are you aware that oral cancer makes up the majority of head and neck cancer?
That’s a sobering thought when it comes to overall health, isn’t it?
The good news is you have more power than you think and there are early signs to help you detect oral cancer.
Let’s find out what the early signs are and what may be the cause of oral cancer, to begin with.
ORAL CANCER | HOW TO DETECT EARLY SIGNS
Did you know oral cancer screenings are a part of every dental examination?
Because of these assessments, treatment options and outcomes are more favorable with an early diagnosis, which is ideal for any form of cancer.
The following can be signs of oral cancer:
- Sores that bleed easily or doesn’t heal properly
- A red or white patch
- Thick or hard areas or lumps
- Rough or crusted areas
- Tenderness and pain
- Structural changes in the mouth that affect biting, chewing, swallowing, speaking, moving tongue or jaw
- Feeling of something caught in your throat
- Chronic pain in the throat area
- Trouble hearing
- Pain or ringing in ears
- A flat red or white painless spot in the oral cavity is the most common symptom of oral cancer.
In many cases, these signs can also point to something other than oral cancer, or be easily dismissed and ignored.
This is where your dentist will know the difference, or at least which path to start on to find out what may be going on with the health of your mouth. (Yet another bonus reason why consistent dental visits are beneficial!).
ORAL CANCER | CAUSES
Now that we know about detection and early signs, we bet you’re wondering what actually causes oral cancer.
So, what can cause oral cancer? Smoking (cigarette, cigar, pipe, vape), chewing tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol are but a few of the causes.
Other roles may be of consideration such as environmental factors, a diet that’s low in vegetables, oral microbiome altering due to use of mouth wash, and even periodontitis (a severe gum disease).
The typical treatment and management are precision surgery where the tumor or cancer is removed without interfering with the function or appearance of the mouth or face.
ORAL CANCER PREVENTION TIPS
In addition to a consistent dental examination routine there are preventative measures that you can consider for the health of your mouth.
• Learn how to detect early signs
• Pay attention to your oral health. Notice any changes and speak with your dentist about them.
• Avoid or limit behavior that can be the cause of oral cancer (smoking, drinking, chewing)
• Maintain regular dental visits
• Speak with your dentist or doctor about any concerns you have with your mouth
When it comes to a healthy mouth, especially with oral cancer, think of your dentist as a friend who can help you on your path.
Here’s to oral health and taking care of you!
Ready to schedule a dental exam?
We’re here for the health of your mouth!
Contact Integrity Dental in Pueblo, CO to get started.