Early signs of oral cancer can be easily missed or mistaken for other problems, such as a toothache or a cold. If you notice any changes or lingering symptoms, make sure to contact your trusted team at Hebron Family Dentistry right away for an evaluation. Oral cancer has an excellent chance of cure if detected and treated early on.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any part of the oral cavity, including the lips, gums, tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, and roof of the mouth. During the disease’s early stages, you may not notice the subtle signs or symptoms. That’s why we encourage you to maintain your routine dental exams every six months. That will allow us to detect any abnormalities early on.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer often include mouth or lip sores that do not heal, reddish or whitish patches on the inside of the mouth, lumps or growths, difficulty swallowing, mouth or ear pain, or loose teeth. Patients sometimes report jaw stiffness, crusted or rough areas in the mouth, numbness, a hoarse voice, or a sensation of something caught in the throat. Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily translate to a diagnosis of oral cancer. However, it’s important to schedule a dental exam to rule out any potential problems.
What Are Oral Cancer Risk Factors?
Risk factors for oral cancer include excessive lip exposure to the sun, the use of tobacco products, heavy alcohol consumption, a weakened immune system, and HPV (human papillomavirus). To lower your chances of developing this disease, refrain from the use of tobacco products, drink alcohol in moderation, and keep your lips protected from the sun. Most importantly, don’t forget to schedule your twice-a-year dental visits to allow us to examine your mouth and check for any potential precancerous changes.
How Do We Detect Oral Cancer?
During your dental exam, Dr. Watson will ask you if you have noticed any recent changes in your mouth or if you have any concerns. Your oral cancer screening is a quick, painless, and potentially life-saving exam. Dr. Watson will evaluate the soft tissues in your oral cavity and the surrounding muscles to rule out any abnormalities. If she identifies any suspicious area, she may recommend a biopsy for further investigation.
Oral Cancer Screening Near Me
Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to schedule your routine dental exam and cleaning. Your appointment will include an oral cancer screening to make sure your mouth is free from any precancerous changes. We invite you to experience preventive dentistry at its best. Call us and schedule your appointment today!