Oral cancer is a serious condition that affects thousands of individuals each year. Despite its serious nature, more people focus on the more obvious types of cancer. In this blog post, our team at Wetaskiwin Family Dental provides some essential facts about oral cancer that you should know.
All About Oral Cancer: What is It?
Oral cancer belongs to a section of cancers known as “head and neck cancers” Oral cancer can be fatal because of how quickly it can spread and affect your quality of life.
Since oral cancer comes with symptoms that are often found with less serious conditions, it can be easily overlooked. Therefore, you must be aware of the signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings near you are essential for early detection and treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Most cancers are influenced by genetics; however, factors such as poor oral hygiene, smoking, and HPV can increase your chances of developing this oral disease. Oral cancer usually first shows up in the posterior portion of your mouth, affecting your tonsils and the base of your tongue. It can be challenging to see physical changes in these places, which is why it is important to get an oral evaluation from a dentist in Wetaskiwin on a regular basis.
Here are some of the most common signs of oral cancer:
- Lumps, lesions, or thickening of the oral tissues
- Pain in the gums, jaw, tongue, or mouth
- Changes in consistency to the lining of your mouth
- Difficulties with chewing and swallowing food
- Persistent sores in the mouth
Understanding the symptoms of oral cancer will improve your chances of catching it early and getting successful treatment.
What Happens at an Oral Cancer Screening?
The best way to determine if you have oral cancer is to participate in comprehensive oral cancer screenings in Wetaskiwin. Before your screening, any dental appliances such as dentures will be removed. This will ensure that all areas of your mouth are visible to your dentist. When you get an oral cancer screening, your dentist will review your medical history by asking some of the following questions:
- Have you noticed recent changes in your voice?
- Do you notice any obstructions when you swallow?
- Have you noticed or felt any lumps in your mouth or neck?
- Have you been experiencing any earaches?
- Is your throat constantly hoarse?
Living with Oral Cancer
It can be scary and anxiety-inducing to get a diagnosis of oral cancer, but keep in mind that a dentist near you can work with you to help you come up with solutions. Ensure that you share your anxieties with your loved ones; they can help lighten the weight and keep you strong through your treatment. Oral cancer is not a death sentence, so don’t give up.
The Bottom Line
Like any other form of cancer, oral cancer requires prompt action. Don’t take your oral health for granted. Always keep an eye out for any new or abnormal symptoms when it comes to your oral health. If you notice anything off, contact our team of dedicated dental professionals at Wetaskiwin Family Dental, we are happy to offer you a comprehensive evaluation and come up with a treatment plan to address all your needs.