Keeping up with visits to your dental provider is good for your whole body, not just your mouth. Why? Professionals with dental training are taught to be on the lookout for potential oral cancer in their patients.
With that being said, you should never wait until your next dental appointment if you have signs that may indicate the presence of oral cancer. At the first inkling that something is wrong, pick up the phone and call your preferred dental healthcare partner to set up an oral pathology examination. Like all cancers, oral cancer can spread and affect you systematically.
How Widespread Is Oral Cancer and How Does It Present Itself?
According to figures from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 53,000 oral cancer cases are diagnosed annually. Though the bulk of diagnoses happen among men who are at least age 40, oral cancer can occur in anyone at any time.
What are some indications of possible oral cancer in children, teens, and adults?
- White or discolored lesions or patches of tissue on the tongue, lips, cheeks, or anywhere inside the mouth. The patches may or may not be painful or sore.
- Mouth sores that never seem to heal. The sores may bleed regularly or from time to time.
- Lumps, bumps, or thickening of the skin anywhere in the mouth. Problem areas can include (but are not limited to) on the tongue, in the back of the mouth, under the tongue, along the gumline, and inside the cheeks or lips.
- Teeth that are starting to become loose. Although loose teeth can be caused by numerous problems, oral cancer cannot be ruled out.
- Difficulty swallowing. Issues with swallowing could be related to oral cancer growths affecting the throat.
- Oral pain and sore throats. Many people affected with oral cancer in the Bronx report radiating pain or pain that occurs in one spot. Sometimes, the pain can extend beyond the mouth to the neck.
What to Do When Something Seems Wrong in Your Mouth
Do you recognize any of the symptoms associated with oral cancer? Talk to your oral surgeon right away. If you are in the Bronx and worried about changes in your mouth, please call our doctor, Marlon K. Moore, DMD, at our office by the Bronx, NY at (718) 518-1776 and schedule your appointment today!