Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is a disease that is found inside the oral cavity, including the lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, roof and floor of the mouth, and throat. As healthcare professionals, we at Taglia Advanced Dentistry, always look for signs of oral cancer during your regular checkups, which is why you should not skip them, especially if you are at higher risk for developing the dangerous condition.
Oral cancer screenings are quick and easy to perform. During your regular checkup, the dentist will examine your head and neck, including your lips, cheeks, teeth, and gums. The dentist will look for any abnormalities including lumps, bumps, or discolorations. Early prevention of oral cancer is key.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
While the symptoms of oral cancer can be confused with other less serious diseases, there are certain things you should look out for, and we highly recommend you do regular self-examinations of every area of your mouth in addition to coming in for regular oral cancer screenings.
These are the most common signs of early oral cancer:
Many of these symptoms are present in other illnesses or happen due to other conditions. For instance, a denture that suddenly doesn't fit properly could happen due to bone loss because of a missing tooth. A sore throat can bother you for a while after a particularly bad cold, and your jaw can hurt because you grind or clench your teeth at night.
Sometimes it's not immediately clear that the discomfort is due to oral cancer, but we can see some signs when we do a visual examination of the oral cavity, which is part of every regular checkup.
Symptoms of Gum Cancer
Your gums are made of soft tissue that serve to hold your teeth in place snugly. Any abnormalities such as white, red, or dark patches that don’t heal within two weeks should be concerning. Other symptoms of gum cancer are:
As is the case with oral cancer, gum cancer can be hard to detect early because it has similar symptoms to other conditions. Bleeding gums are a very common symptom of periodontal disease, and jaw pain can be caused by several other conditions.
Risk Factors for Gum Cancer
As with any other form of cancer, gum cancer can happen to anyone, but there are some factors that will put you at a higher risk of getting the disease. The word “cancer” usually scares people so much that they do everything in their power to prevent it, especially when they know they are at greater risk.
This is what you should watch out for if you are concerned that you may fall victim to gum cancer.
If you have any concerns about oral or gum cancer, or are due for an oral cancer screening, please call Taglia Advanced Dentistry at (312) 675-4624 today.