It is extremely important to be aware of many different factors of oral cancer. The more information that you have, the better you will be able to protect yourself from serious consequences. Avoiding risk factors will go a long way toward reducing your risk of oral cancer and protecting your health. Oral cancer is essentially any type of cancer that is found on the mouth, back of throat, or lips. Regularly inspecting these areas can ensure that oral cancer is found in the early stages, when it will be much more treatable. Here are some incredibly important things that you need to know about oral cancer.
Increased Risk Factors
Various risk factors can make it much more likely that you will develop oral cancer. It is crucial to ensure that you avoid these risk factors as much as possible to protect your health. Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of oral cancer. While this certainly applies to cigarettes, it isn’t limited to cigarettes. Cigars, chewing tobacco, and any other tobacco products can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Quitting the use of these products is incredibly important when it comes to the improvement of your health. Heavy drinking of alcohol can also increase the risk of oral cancer. This is simply compounded when alcohol consumption is done in conjunction with tobacco product use.
Getting a little too much sun increases your risk of skin cancer, but it can also increase your risk of oral cancer. While most people understand the importance of sunscreen use, fewer understand the importance of lip balm. Regularly getting burnt on your lips increases the likelihood that you will develop oral cancer. Ensure that you use lip balm with a sufficient SPF to protect your health. The diet that you eat regularly will also impact your cancer risk. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet can lower your risk for developing many kinds of cancer. Individuals that are over the age of 40 are much more likely to develop oral cancer and males are actually twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women.
Oral Cancer Statistics
Oral cancer is a cancer that is far too common and incredibly dangerous. Following the steps to reduce your risk factors will go a long way toward protecting your health. It is also important to understand exactly how much oral cancer impacts people across the country. Around 35,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. In addition, about 7,500 deaths will occur due to oral cancer on an annual basis.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Understanding the various symptoms of oral cancer will help you to identify it in the early stages, which will substantially improve the likelihood that it will be treatable. It is crucial to keep in mind that these symptoms won’t always indicate the presence of oral cancer and may be a result of other issues. It is also important to pay careful attention if any of these symptoms last for longer than 2 weeks. Regularly inspect your mouth, throat, or lips for these symptoms of oral cancer. It may appear as a lump, thick pate, sore, irritation, or rough spot anywhere in these areas. It may also be a white or red patch located in the mouth, throat, or lips. An individual that has oral cancer may experience the sensation of something stuck in their throat.
Oral cancer tends to cause problems with swallowing or chewing, as well as difficulty with moving either the tongue or the jaw. An individual that experiences a swollen jaw or a numb or painful tongue should likely visit their dentist for an examination. When dentures suddenly cease to fit correctly, it is possible that oral cancer is developing. Ear pain is often linked to problems with the mouth. Pay careful attention if you experience ear pain, but no loss of hearing. A sore on the mouth or lips that won’t heal over time or bleeds particularly easily may indicate cancer. It is also important to pay attention to changes in the color of the mouth.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
Regular dental check-ups are incredibly important when it comes to the detection of oral cancer. You should visit your dentist at a minimum of every 6 months to protect your oral health. If you have some of the risk factors that are associated with the development of oral cancer, you may need to see your dentist on a more frequent basis. Consult with your dentist if you aren’t completely sure regarding the recommended regularity of your dental visits. During your dental exam, your dentist will look for suspicious areas in the mouth, lips, or back of throat. If they find these suspicious spots, they will likely perform a brush test.
During this test, they will essentially collect cells from the lesion. These cells are then sent to the lab for testing, which will identify if the cells are pre-cancerous. After this, the ideal treatment options and best steps to take will be discussed. The earlier you detect the presence of oral cancer, the more treatable the cancer will likely be. Cancer that is left unchecked over time will ultimately be much more difficult to treat, which makes it much more life-threatening.
Contact Our Experts
Our experts at Mt. Ogden Dental are dedicated to providing you with the services that are necessary to protect your oral health. It is crucial to ensure that you are familiar with the signs of oral health and perform regular inspections to protect yourself. Obtaining regular dental check-ups will help to ensure that oral cancer can be caught in the early stages, when it is more likely to be treatable. These check-ups can also help to find other dental emergencies and ensure that they are restored effectively. This cancer type can be incredibly dangerous, which is why it is crucial to find it in the early stages. To obtain your regular dental check-up with us, contact us at Mt. Ogden Dental today!