Oral cancer typically refers to two categories of cancer - cancers that occur in the mouth (the teeth, gums, lips, cheeks, and tongue) and cancers that occur in the mid-region of the throat including the base of the tongue and the tonsils.
It is important that oral cancers are detected as soon as possible because the sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of survival will be, and since over 10,000 people die from oral cancer each year in the USA, this is just one more reason why we should all be scheduling regular dental appointments.
Where are the symptoms of oral cancer?
As mentioned above, oral cancer can occur in a number of locations including: Lips, Gums, Cheek lining, Tongue, Hard palate, The area beneath your tongue, and The throat
There are numerous symptoms that could indicate oral cancer that we, as your dentists in Brigham City, Utah may be able to spot. They include:
- Sores and irritations that don’t clear up
- White or red patches in the mouth
- Pain or numbness
- Lumps, crusty spots or areas of erosion
- Pain or difficulty when swallowing, chewing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- Movement of teeth out of normal alignment
- Sore throat
- Feeling like there is a blockage in the throat
- Hoarseness or other changes to the sound of your voice
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should let your dentist know you’re worried about oral cancer in Brigham City, Utah as soon as possible. That way, we can investigate your symptoms and ensure you are treated quickly if you do have cancer.
Can my dentist help with the detection of oral cancer?
As dentists, we can absolutely help with the detection of oral cancer in Brigham City, Utah. When we perform your regular dental exams. We will always look for and asl you about changes to your oral health. If you’ve been having any new symptoms that are out of the norm, we will investigate thoroughly.
We will perform a thorough check of your oral cavity, looking for any lumps, sores, or abnormalities that could indicate the presence of cancer and will act immediately if we do find anything worrying.
What happens if my dentist suspects oral cancer?
If we suspect that you have oral cancer, we may first reexamine you in a couple of weeks to see if any unusual spots in your mouth have cleared up before acting further. If we think that your symptoms are more urgent, we may take x-rays of your mouth for further exploration, or we may refer you for specific oral cancer testing elsewhere.
How is oral cancer treated?
Oral cancer in Brigham City, Utah can be treated in a number of ways. Often, surgery is undertaken and the affected area removed. You may also have to undergo a course of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or be asked to undergo targeted therapy treatments which use a combination of drugs to bind to your cancer cells and inhibit their growth, This is something you will need to discuss with medical professionals once a diagnosis has been determined.
If you want to know more about oral cancer in Brigham City, Utah, and what you can do to prevent it, get in touch with our top team of dentists, here at Haws Family Dentistry, today.