Oral Cancer Screening
Our dentists at Cleary Dental are experienced in detecting oral cancer through an oral cancer screening. Cancer is known as an uncontrollable growth of cells that causes damage to the surrounding tissues. If you develop oral cancer it may appear as a sore in the mouth that is inflamed and does not go away. Oral cancer can appear on your lip, tongue, cheek, the floor of your mouth, or on your hard palate.
Causes of Oral Cancer
If you are a smoker, you are six times as likely to develop oral cancer. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or tobacco pipes will increase your risk of developing oral cancer. If you smoke marijuana, you will also be at a higher risk of developing cancer. If you drink liquor, you are six times as likely to develop oral cancer. If you have a habit of smoking and drinking, your risk of developing oral cancer will be higher than either one alone.
Most often, oral cancer occurs in people over the age of 50. Compared to women, men are more than twice as likely to develop oral cancer. Additionally, if you have a family history of cancer and poor dietary habits your risk of developing oral cancer can increase.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The first sign of oral cancer may be a lump or bump on your lips, gums, or the inside of your mouth. Oral cancer can cause unexplained bleeding in your mouth and numbness in the area. You may also experience soreness, crust, swelling, or red, white, and speckled coloring in your mouth. A growth can also cause chronic sore throat or cause you to have slurred speech. There are multiple symptoms that can point to oral cancer. If you notice any of these changes be sure to consult our dentist and schedule a screening.
Treatments for Oral Cancer
Provided that oral cancer is detected early, it can be treated with surgery or radiation therapy. For this reason, it is important to visit our dentist for an exam and cleaning every six months. Knowing the state of your teeth is vital for receiving treatment promptly, especially if you are at risk of developing oral cancer.
One new treatment option is targeted therapy. This option uses a prescription drug to precisely target and attack cancer cells. This form of treatment can be more focused on the area of your cancer compared to other forms of therapy, like chemotherapy. However, your available treatments will depend on your general health, where the cancer started, the size and type of tumor, and the extent it has spread. If you have oral cancer, our dentist will refer you to a specialist who can provide the best individual care plan for you.
It is important to schedule regular oral cancer screenings. Let us be your trusted care provider here at Cleary Dental. Consult with our experienced dentists by calling us at (856) 528-8607.