What You Should Know About Oral Cancer

added on: July 30, 2020

man with dentist : mouth cancerMouth cancer is the 6th most common cancer, and accounts for 30,000 newly diagnosed cases every year – and 8,000 fatalities. Oral cancer, if not treated and diagnosed within its early stages, may spread, and lead to loss of function, chronic pain, oral and facial disfigurement and perhaps even death.

Oral cancer: Who gets it?

Anyone could develop oral cancer. Smokers and heavy drinkers are at a greater risk. Although it’s more common in those over the age of 50, new studies indicate that younger folks might be developing mouth cancers associated with HPV (human papillomavirus).

Early detection may save lives

What’s the good news? The earlier mouth cancer is treated and detected, the better the rate of survival – which is only one of many reasons why routine visits to the dentist are important. Twice a year dental check-ups are typically covered with no or low deductibles under the majority of dental insurance plans.

As a part of the examination, the dentist will check you for signs of oral cancer, which includes feeling for lumps or abnormal tissue in your neck, head, or mouth. A biopsy is suggested if anything seems out of the ordinary or concerning.

Warning indications

You also should perform your very own self-exams to check for early warning indications. Immediately call the dentist if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Persistent hoarseness or difficulty swallowing
  • Repeated bleeding from throat or mouth
  • Red or white patches on your lips or in your mouth
  • Lumps, growths, or swelling anywhere near or in your neck or mouth
  • Sores lasting longer than 2 weeks

Ask about an oral cancer screening during your next trip to the dentist. If it’s been a while since your last visit, make certain to arrange an appointment soon. Preventative care and routine screenings allow dental professionals a chance to check for issues before they become more challenging to treat or cause pain.

Are you in need of general dentistry services in Wilmington, NC? Our team at Phelps Family Dentistry would be honored to care for you and your family. Call 910-762-3481 to schedule an appointment.

Posted In: Oral Health