Why Oral Cancer Screenings Are Important
A cancer diagnosis is never something that anyone wants to experience. The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown, however certain lifestyle choices can contribute to it. Like any cancer, early detection is key, and oral cancer can be effectively treated if caught early enough.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
First, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should see your dentist for further investigation:
- White lesions or red of blooding areas in your lips or mouth
- Any suspicious mouth sores in and around your mouth as well as on your tongue
- Any unusual swelling or thick patches on your cheeks, or gums
- A feeling of a hard object stuck in your throat
- If you wear dentures, any swelling that causes your dentures to feel uncomfortable
- Pain in your jaw, especially when chewing or swallowing
- Difficulty speaking, sore throat or hoarse throat when speaking
- Any numbness in your jaw or mouth
Oral Cancer Screening and Diagnosis
An oral cancer screening is nothing to be afraid of; your dentist will do a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, lips, and face area first. Then they will do an examination of the neck and jaw area, and your tongue. Should the dentist suspect cancer after the check-up, the area will be biopsied for further analysis.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Smoking tobacco in any form has been found to increase one's risk for oral cancer. The heavy use of alcohol is also found to increase your chances of oral cancer. Generally, any drug or substance abuse has been found to increase a person's risk for oral cancer. As well, age and unhealthy eating habits seems to be consistent with those that develop oral cancer. If you are over the age of 40, and lacking in consuming fruits and vegetables, and are a smoker, you will be at higher risk. Make it a priority to see your Surrey dentist regularly for checkups, professional cleaning, and oral screenings.