Oral cancer can affect the throat, mouth, gums and tongue.
Thousands of people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. The condition can affect all areas of the mouth, including the gums and tongue, as well as the throat and tonsils. The good news is that with early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to treat the disease with good outcomes. Read on to find out what the signs and symptoms of oral cancer are, and when to see your dentist…
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of oral cancer differ from case to case, but some of the most common symptoms include mouth sores that don’t resolve in time and persistent oral pain. Other possible symptoms of oral cancer include red or white patches that develop on the gums, mouth or tonsils; a swollen neck; having difficulty chewing or swallowing; difficulty moving the tongue or jaw; unexplained weight loss; persistent bad breath; and lumps in one or both cheeks. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable that you see your dentist as soon as possible. They will perform a thorough oral examination and advise you on the best course of action.
What are the risk factors?
There are a number of factors that may increase one’s risk of oral cancer. These include smoking and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Too much exposure to the sun on your lips can also increase the risk of developing the disease.
Oral cancer has also been linked to human papillomavirus (HPV), which can affect the mouth and throat.
Can it be prevented?
The good news is that oral cancer can often be prevented. One of the best preventative measures is to quit smoking or never smoke at all. It is also a good idea to wear sun protection on your lips anytime you are outside, and to try and limit your exposure to the sun. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation only.
It is also advisable that you practice proper oral hygiene habits. Brush and floss your teeth every day, and see your dentist for regular check-ups. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them every night and clean them on a daily basis.
While it is not always possible to prevent oral cancer, these lifestyle changes can help to reduce your risk of developing the illness.
How can we help?
At Crookes & Jenkins Dental, we believe that awareness is the first step to the prevention of oral cancer. We encourage all of our patients to come in and see us for regular check-ups so that we can check for abnormalities.
Routine screening and early detection are key when it comes to successfully treating oral cancer. For this reason, it is important that you visit your dentist every six months, and that you take the time to check your lips and mouth for irregularities.
If you would like to find out more about oral cancer, the signs and symptoms to look out for, and what you can expect from a screening at Crookes & Jenkins Dental, please have a look here.
If it’s been a while since your last check-up and clean, we urge you to come in and see us. We offer a range of preventative treatments designed to improve and maintain your overall and oral health. When you come in and see us, we will perform a full oral examination in order to assess your oral health and to treat any concerns that you might have. If you would like to find out more about what to expect from a dental check-up and clean, please take a look here.
If you would like to arrange an appointment, get in touch with us here or give us a call on 07 3367 1122. We look forward to welcoming you to our friendly and comfortable practice in Rosalie.