Oral Cancer Awareness: Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention

oral cancer screening, dental professional providing oral cancer screening while wearing surgical gloves and mask

Oral cancer is a significant health concern that often goes overlooked. This type of cancer can affect the mouth, throat, lips, and even the back of the tongue. Oral cancer is not the most fun topic to discuss within the field of dentistry. But, it is a very important one, because early detection and awareness are crucial for successful treatment. Luckily, we perform an oral cancer screening at your routine checkup. In this blog, we’ll explore the signs, symptoms, and prevention of oral cancer.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer encompasses cancers that occur in the oral cavity. This includes the lips, tongue, gums, inside of the cheeks, the roof and floor of the mouth, and the throat. While it may not be as discussed as other types of cancer, its impact can be severe if not caught in the early stages.

Common Signs and Symptoms

It’s not uncommon for oral cancer to manifest in various ways. Some common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:

    Persistent Sores: One of the most common signs is the presence of sores or ulcers in the mouth that do not heal within a few weeks.

    Red or White Patches: Unexplained red or white patches on the tongue or inside the mouth should be examined by a healthcare professional.

    Lumps or Thickening: The development of lumps or thickening in the oral cavity can be a concerning symptom and may require emergency care.

    Chronic Sore Throat: If you experience a persistent sore throat that doesn’t respond to traditional treatments, it may be a sign of oral cancer.

    Difficulty Swallowing or Chewing: Trouble with swallowing or chewing, along with persistent pain, can be indicative of a problem in the oral cavity.

Oral Cancer Prevention

While anyone can develop oral cancer, certain factors increase the risk of development. Some steps you can take to reduce your risk of oral cancer include:

    Minimizing Tobacco and Alcohol Use: Avoid or quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.

    Maintaining Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular dental check-ups to catch potential issues early.

    Sun Protection: Use lip balm with SPF and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your lips from sun exposure.

    Maintain a Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential nutrients that may help reduce the risk of oral cancer.

    Performing Regular Self-Examinations: Be vigilant about checking your mouth and oral cavity for any unusual changes or symptoms.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Germantown, MD

Oral cancer awareness is crucial for early detection and successful treatment. At Riverstone Dental Care, we provide an oral cancer screening at your routine checkup! By recognizing the signs and symptoms, understanding risk factors, and taking preventive measures, you can protect your oral health and reduce the risk of this devastating disease. Don’t forget to schedule an oral cancer screening in Germantown, MD, today!

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