May 20, 2015
Have you ever wondered why your dental provider is talking about cancer? A significant amount of people visit their dentist regularly making it an ideal situation to check them for cancer of the head and neck. Oral cancer accounts for roughly two percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the USA. The ability to detect and treat cancerous lesions around the lips, gums, cheeks, and tongue saves lives! Your dentist should be checking the general appearance and health of your oral tissues as part of a regular examination and looks for any changes or abnormalities in your mouth, face, and neck.
What are the signs or oral cancer?
White lesions called leukoplakia and red lesions called erythroplakia could be precursors to cancer. Possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer that patients report include a lump or thickening in the oral soft tissues, soreness or a feeling that something is caught in the throat, difficulty chewing or swallowing, ear pain, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, hoarseness, numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth or swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.
Who is susceptible to oral cancer?
Oral cancer can happen to anyone but is most common in men. Those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes are six times more likely than non smokers to develop oral cancer. Oral cancer can also occur in those who are exposed to the sun, and it can be genetic. It’s important to note that anyone can get oral cancer!
Ask your dental provider about an oral cancer screening today!
Until next time,
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