Hearing that you might have cancer is terrifying, but people can hear that from their dentists as well as their general doctor. Fortunately, oral cancer is curable if caught in its early stages. When dentists examine teeth, he or she will also do quick oral cancer screenings to look for signs of the disease.
When one of our dentists at All American Dental in Columbia, MO examines your teeth, they will also examine the soft tissues in the mouth and the back of the throat. Indications of oral cancer can be found on the inside of the lips, cheeks, and the back of the tongue.
They are looking for lumps or hard areas on the tongue or soft tissues, especially around the lips, as well as white or red sores on the tongue and around the cheeks or lips. Men usually have the highest instances of oral cancer, but women can get it as well.
Along with the screenings that our dentists at All American Dental in Columbia, MO do, you should also do regular self-examinations. If you feel a hard area or lump on your tongue or cheek, notice a red or white sore on the soft tissues of the mouth, or have a sore throat that doesn’t go away, then contact All American Dental for an examination.
Some of the factors that can increase the risk of oral cancers are:
If you’re in a high-risk group, which is people older than 45, smokers and heavy drinkers, then you should reduce or quit your use of tobacco products, especially smokeless tobacco. Also, reduce or quit drinking, and take good care of your teeth and mouth. Poor oral hygiene and lack of dental care are also two additional risk factors for this disease.
By doing regular self-examinations and seeing your dentist every six months, you can find oral cancer in its early stages when it’s curable.