One of the many benefits of attending your biannual dental exams and cleanings is that your dentist will also scan your mouth for signs of oral cancer. While it may not be top of mind, a visit to the dentist could save your life! Read on to learn more about oral cancer, how to prevent it, and the symptoms to watch out for.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer refers to cancer that forms in the oral cavity, which includes the tongue, roof and floor of the mouth, lips, cheeks, and gums.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Signs and symptoms vary when it comes to oral cancer and how it presents itself. However, here are some of the most common symptoms that may point to mouth cancer:
- A growth or lump inside your mouth
- A mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
- Chronic ear pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent nose bleeds
- Loose teeth
- Mouth pain
- Neck or jaw swelling
If you are currently dealing with any of the above symptoms, please contact your Hillstream Dental doctor immediately. The sooner mouth cancer is caught, the better!
Common Causes of Oral Cancer
Cancer forms when cells mutate, divide, and grow. Excessive tobacco or alcohol use, sun exposure, and a weak immune system can all increase the risk of cell mutation. It’s crucial to stay aware of your choices and how they can have a negative impact on your health.
Best Ways to Prevent Oral Cancer
Wondering what you can do to help prevent oral cancer? Here are some recommendations.
- Attend Biannual Dental Visits— As mentioned above, your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening at your biannual dental checkups. A simple dental visit can have a huge impact on your oral and overall health and catch oral cancer before it worsens!
- Stop Using Tobacco Products— Tobacco is a leading cause of oral cancer. Tobacco contains cancer-causing chemicals that can wreak havoc on your oral cavity over time.
- Use Sunscreen and Avoid Prolonged Sun Exposure— When out in the sun, put on sunscreen regularly and a sunscreen-based lip product to protect your lips from the sun as well. Frequent burns and prolonged sun exposure can cause both skin and oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Screening at Hillstream Dental
If you have any questions about oral cancer or would like to come in for an oral cancer screening, we can help. Please contact our Hillstream Dental office to book your visit. We have offices in Rochester Hills and St. Clair Shores.