Unfortunately, oral cancer is becoming a common type of cancer that is starting to be more frequently diagnosed. With oral cancer, the cell growth causes damage to not only the mouth but the tissue, throat, tonsils, lips, and tongue. Left untreated for too long, oral cancer can have a high mortality rate. This is why knowing the signs and completing routine oral cancer screenings are crucial in maintaining your health.
What are the signs?
- Red or white spots/patches anywhere in the mouth
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain or difficulty when chewing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- Sores that are still present after 2 weeks
- Oral bleeding
- Loose teeth
- Changes in denture fitting
- Changes in bite
- Sore throat
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness in the mouth, on the lips, or on the tongue
Risk and Prevention
Several variables could increase someone’s chances of having oral cancer. Having a history in the family of cancer, the use of tobacco products, exposure to the HPV-16 virus, excessive amounts of alcohol consumption, are all factors that could increase your risk of oral cancer.
Many of the causes behind oral cancer are preventable though. You can quit the use of tobacco products, minimize or quit your drinking habits, as well as practicing regular oral hygiene. Good oral health not only consists of what you do at home but regular dentist visits and screenings as well. Anyone can develop oral cancer, so even if you’re not in the potential risk category, you should still be safe and continue regular screening visits.
Want to Learn More About the Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings?
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