One of the most important functions your dentist can perform is to conduct regular oral cancer screenings. You should schedule regular dental check-ups in order to safeguard the health of your teeth and gums. During dental exams, however, the dentist can also check for sores or growths which may indicate oral cancer. You can then be referred to a doctor if necessary. Oral cancers include cancers of the throat, lips, tongue, soft and hard palates, sinuses, and pharynx. These cancers can prove fatal if left untreated. Early diagnosis is crucial.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
You may be at greater risk of contracting oral cancer if you smoke or use tobacco products. Heavy drinking, hereditary factors, excessive exposure to sunlight in childhood, and exposure to certain forms of HPV, or human papillomavirus, can also increase your vulnerability to oral cancer . However, you still need to be screened for oral cancer even if none of these risk factors apply.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
It is important to be familiar with some of the early signs of oral cancer. These include swelling, abrasions, sores, or lumps anywhere around the lips or inside the mouth. White or speckled patches may appear in the mouth. You should also consult a medical professional if you experience bleeding, numbness, pain, or tenderness which does not have an obvious cause. Chronic hoarseness or a persistent sensation of having something caught in your throat can also be symptoms of oral cancer. A sore throat which will not go away or a stubborn ear pain can be early warning signs. The way your bite is aligned may change. You may find that your dentures no longer fit comfortably. Finally, sudden, unexplained weight loss is a side effect of many cancers, including oral cancer. Consult your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms.
Here at Glenwood Premier Dental , we carry out regular oral cancer screenings in Hazlet as part of our dental check-ups. If you have any concerns about oral cancer, call us at (732) 264-4477, or visit our website. Let us help you retain a healthy mouth for life.