It is important for you to recognise the signs and symptoms of having to begin one of the deadliest diseases i.e Oral Cancer so you can bring them to the attention of your dentist right away.
Dentists will definitely look for early signs of mouth cancer during regular checkup but if this condition is caught early enough, the chances of successful treatment are high.
The occurrence of oral cancer is mainly due to consumption of Tobacco of any kind – cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco – which increases your risk for oral cancer. In fact, the Mouth Cancer Foundation reports 90 percent of those with oral cancer consume tobacco. Heavy use of alcohol also increases a person’s chances of developing oral cancer, and the NIDCR says your risk is even higher when using both tobacco and alcohol.
In addition to tobacco and alcohol, age and eating habits can influence your risk as well. Most oral cancers occur in people over the age of 40, and a diet that is deficient in fruits and vegetables can make it easier to contract.
Signs and Symptoms
You’ll want to visit your doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms persist for more than two weeks:
- Trouble moving your jaw or tongue
- Problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking
- Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips
- Lingering sore throat or hoarseness
- Sores, swellings, lumps or thick patches anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
- The feeling of a lump or object stuck in your throat
- Swellings that make wearing dentures uncomfortable
- Numbness, pain or tenderness anywhere in your mouth, including your tongue
- Pain in one of your ears but without any loss of hearing
- Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause
A dentist who suspects cancer will recommend a biopsy of the area, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). With a positive diagnosis, surgery may be needed to treat the affected area, and often this surgery is followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
By regulating certain lifestyle choices – smoking, alcohol use can significantly lower your risk of developing oral cancer.
Ultimately, if you know what to look for and see your dentist for regular screenings, early signs of mouth cancer can be identified and taken care of before they become a serious problem.