Oral cancers are particularly devastating because, even if the patient survives, they can result in permanent facial disfiguration. Every individual should see a dentist at least every six months, but those who are at a high risk of oral cancer may benefit from more frequent check-ups. Oral cancer screenings can save lives.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Oral cancer can affect the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat. Most of the cancers diagnosed in the mouth and throat are squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers originate in the squamous cells, which are flat cells present in the lining of the throat and mouth.
Verrucous carcinoma is far less common than squamous cell carcinoma. It’s a slow-growing type of cancer that may develop at sites of chronic inflammation and scarring. For example, a person with bruxism who grinds the teeth and bites the inner cheeks during sleep may have chronic irritation and ulceration of the soft tissues. This type of oral cancer causes lesions that may be described as “cauliflower-like.”
Salivary Gland Carcinoma
The minor salivary glands are located throughout the throat and mouth lining. Several forms of cancer can originate here, including adenoid cystic carcinoma, polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma, and mucoepidermoid carcinoma. It’s also possible to develop cancer in the major salivary glands . There are three pairs of these glands: submandibular glands, located beneath the jawbone; sublingual glands, located beneath the tongue; and parotid glands. These last glands are located near each ear, and they give rise to most cases of major salivary gland cancers.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma can develop on the lip. Squamous cell carcinoma may also develop there. Lip cancers are often attributed to years of unprotected sun exposure. Lip cancer may be indicated by sores that refuse to heal, lip pain, and persistent swelling.
Glenwood Premier Dental encourages patients to have regular oral cancer screenings at our office in Hazlet. Our dentist uses specialized screening technology to detect potentially abnormal lesions that aren’t yet visible to the naked eye. Get in touch today at (732) 264-4477 to schedule a check-up.