The detection of Oral Cancer
The outcomes associated with oral cancer can be significantly improved through routine screening and early detection. During your general dental check-up, Dr Crookes, Dr Jenkins or Dr Clark will thoroughly check your mouth for abnormalities.
The death rate associated with oral cancer remains high because it is often discovered late in its development, generally when it has spread to another location like the lymph nodes in the neck. At this stage the prognosis is significantly worse. So even if you think your teeth are healthy, it’s still important to visit the dentist regularly to check for signs of oral cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
You can look for signs of oral cancer yourself between visits by checking your lips and mouth for irregularities.
- Signs and symptoms to be aware of include:
- Red or white patches in your mouth
- An ulcer, sore or blister that does not heal
- A thick or hard spot or lump
- A roughened or crusted area or spot
- Numbness, pain or tenderness
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
- Difficulty swallowing or moving your jaw / tongue
- Swollen lymph glands
Causes of oral cancer
Tobacco and alcohol use
Prolonged tobacco use is the most prevalent cause of oral cancer, closely followed by heavy alcohol use. When both tobacco and alcohol are used together, there is a 15 times greater risk of developing oral cancer.
Extended sun exposure to your lips without a broad-spectrum SPF can increase your risk of skin cancer. The instance of this type of cancer has been slowly declining through increased awareness.
Sexually transmitted virus
New research has identified the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV-16) as a growing cause of oral cancer. HPV is the same virus responsible for cervical cancer and can be sexually transmitted between partners. This link explains the increasing incidence (25%) of young, non-smoking oral cancer patients.
Oral Cancer Awareness Brisbane Rosalie | Crookes & Jenkins Dental
If you want more information about oral cancer awareness or want to book in for an oral cancer screening check, contact us at Crookes and Jenkins today.
Cancer Screening FAQs
Yes, we do offer screenings for oral cancer. In fact, your dentist will thoroughly check your mouth for any abnormalities every time you come in for a general dental check-up. Routine screenings and early detection are key when it comes to getting the treatment you need, so even if you think that your teeth and mouth are healthy, it’s still important to visit us regularly so that your dentist can check for any early signs of oral cancer. You can also look for signs of oral cancer yourself between dental visits by regularly checking your lips and mouth for any irregularities.
Some of the signs of oral cancer may include red or white patches in your mouth, as well as thick or hard spots and lumps and an ulcer, sore or blister that won’t heal. A roughened or crusted area or spot could also indicate that there is an issue. Other potential symptoms of oral cancer include numbness, pain or tenderness in the mouth; changes in the way that your teeth fit together; difficulty swallowing or moving your jaw and/or tongue; and swollen lymph glands. If you experience any of these symptoms, please come in and see us for a consultation.
The most prevalent cause of oral cancer is prolonged tobacco use, followed by heavy alcohol use. When tobacco and alcohol are used together, the risk of oral cancer increases quite considerably. Other causes of the disease include extended sun exposure to the lips without the use of a broad spectrum SPF; and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV-16). This virus can be sexually transmitted between partners, and is a growing cause of oral cancer.