Oral cancer affects more than just your mouth: it can develop in the throat, sinuses, lips, tongue, or cheeks. It can be fatal, but it’s treatable if it’s diagnosed early on. The best way to spot early signs of oral cancer is to come in to our office for an oral cancer screening. Here’s what our oral cancer screening dentist wants you to know about this deadly disease.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is typically caused by tobacco use, alcohol consumption, poor diet, or too much sun exposure on the lips.
The resulting oral cancer symptoms are as follows:
Lump in throat, mouth, or on lips
Difficulty swallowing or chewing
Bleeding in the mouth
Numbness or pain when biting down
White or red patches in mouth
Why Oral Cancer Screenings Matter
Early detection can be life saving, not only with mouth cancer but with any cancer in general. The best way to detect oral cancer before it gets out of control is to have oral screenings done at least once per year. The screening may seem simple and miniscule, but that one extra precaution could save your life.
There are two main types of screenings done: clinical examination and oral examination. With clinical examinations, Dr. Baran will look over the inside of your mouth for patches and sores and feel for any lumps on your cheeks, tongue, and other parts of your mouth. This is often squeezed into your regular dentist appointment because it is very simple. Oral examinations, on the other hand, are more thorough and involve the use of screening devices to detect signs of mouth cancer or premalignant lesions.
Oral cancer is a rather dangerous type of cancer because it can spread without experiencing any pain or symptoms. If oral cancer goes undetected in its early stages, Dr. Baran may discover the cancer when it’s too late. Having routine oral cancer screenings done can prevent this from happening, and the importance of these screenings cannot be stressed enough.
Oral Cancer Prevention
In order to prevent oral cancer, you should make some simple adjustments to your lifestyle. By following these few guidelines below, you’ll have a better chance at having no issues arise in your oral cancer screening.
Eat a well-balanced diet.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
Maintain cleanliness of your dentures.
Wear sun protection on your lips.
Avoid all tobacco products.
Whether you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or not, you should make it a priority to ask our dentist about scheduling an oral cancer screening. That small step may end up saving your life.
At Royal Oak Smiles, we want all of our patients to have healthy, beautiful smiles. If you are interested in setting up an appointment for an oral cancer screening, give us a call at (248) 548-1440.