Oral Cancer Screenings | Here is What You Need to Know

The only thing worse than finding out that you have cancer is finding out too late. Not unlike other cancers, you stand the best chance of fighting oral cancer if you catch it sooner, rather than later. This is why it is so critical you regularly see your dentist and receive oral cancer screenings, especially if you are someone who is at risk (ex. if you use tobacco products). Please continue reading to learn more about oral cancer, how we can help you detect it, and what we can do for you. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the most common causes of oral cancer?

Oral cancer can be caused by a weakened immune system, overexposure to sunlight, and other genetic factors. However, that being said, you should understand that generally, oral cancer is most commonly caused by certain bad habits, such as tobacco use or excessive alcohol use. These habits all cause cells in the mouth to mutate and multiply, thus leading to oral cancer, which, can sometimes spread throughout the body if left untreated. There are various forms of oral cancer, such as teratoma and melanoma, and such cancer can grow in your salivary glands, your face, throat, gums, and tongue.

What should I be looking out for?

If you suspect you may have oral cancer, you should keep an eye out for various typical symptoms. Generally, individuals with oral cancer will find they have difficulty or experience pain while swallowing, they may lose teeth, they may experience certain sores or growths on the lip or in the mouth that do not heal, or they may even notice red patches in their mouths. In some cases, individuals may even notice reoccurring mouth or ear pain. That being said, oftentimes, individuals with oral cancer can be totally asymptomatic, which is why it is so critical they receive regular oral cancer screenings to detect potential cancer when they cannot.

What is oral cancer screening?

Essentially, your dentist will look at your mouth, searching to see if he notices any lesions, red patches, thickened tissues, lumps, and other signs of cancer. If there may be something wrong, your dentist will order a biopsy, wherein they will test to see if the abnormality is cancerous or not. An oral cancer screening is painless and relatively quick. Do not pass one up if you are at risk. It may literally save your life.

Contact the Dental Associates of Basking Ridge

Dental Associates of Basking Ridge is a compassionate, gentle, and professional state-of-the-art dental practice serving Basking Ridge, Morris & Somerset County. Our office is always ready to greet our patients with a smile, take the time to answer any questions, and provide the quality dental services our patients expect. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!

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