You probably realize that your dentist checks the health of your teeth
and gums when you see her for a general dentistry checkup. However, did
you know that your dentist is also looking for signs of oral cancer? Read
on to learn about oral cancer, including the signs and risk factors for
The Signs of Oral Cancer
Oral cancers can have many symptoms, with some of the most common including lumps,
rough spots, bumps, thickenings, swellings, eroded spots, or crusts, on
the lips, face, neck, or inside the mouth. Unexplained numbness, bleeding,
or pain in any area of the mouth, face, ear, or neck are also possible
symptoms. A chronic sore throat, hoarseness, dramatic weight loss, a change
in bite, a lump in the neck, or difficulty moving the tongue or jaw, swallowing,
or speaking can also be symptoms of oral cancer.
The Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Men, especially those over age 50, are more at risk for oral cancer than
women. A history of oral cancer, excessive sun exposure, or poor dietary
habits can also increase your risk for this condition. Smoking marijuana
or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol increase the likelihood that
you will develop oral cancer. Finally, using smokeless tobacco or smoking
cigarettes, pipes, or cigars drastically ups your risk of developing this
condition. Finally, combining alcohol and tobacco puts someone at a much
higher risk for oral cancers than either factor alone.
The Importance of Early Detection
Oral cancer screenings are a routine part of dental exams because these
cancers can be life-threatening when not caught and treated early. In
addition to checking your mouth for the signs of oral cancer and remaining
vigilant regarding symptoms, be sure to see your dentist twice per year
for checkups to help ensure your oral and overall health.
Are you overdue for a general dentistry appointment? If so, then please
make an appointment with Eagle Falls Dentistry on Stratford Drive or Associated
Dental Care on Bloomingdale Road by calling (630) 894-5992. Our offices provide
oral cancer screenings and comprehensive dental care near Bloomingdale, IL.