Oral cancer is a condition where cancerous cells grow in the mouth. It can affect any part of the mouth. Anyone can suffer from oral cancer. However, your chances of getting this condition are higher if you have HPV, use alcohol or smoke. You are also more likely to get oral cancer if you had neck or head cancer in the past.
Your diet is another factor that can put you at risk for getting oral cancer. Furthermore, people who spend a lot of time in the sun are more likely to develop oral cancer. The cancer is likely to form on the lips.
Signs of Oral Cancer
A persistent sore is one of the most common signs of oral cancer. If you have a sore that will not heal, then you will need to see a doctor or dentist as soon as possible. It is normal to get sores in the mouth, but they should go away within two weeks. Mouth pain is another sign of this condition. Other signs of oral cancer include voice changes, weight loss, difficulty swallowing and persistent bad breath.
How a Dentist can Diagnose Oral Cancer
Dentists are often the first ones to notice oral cancer. A dentist can do an examination to check for abnormal sores in the mouth. There are also imaging tests that can be used to diagnose this condition. Oral cancer screenings are important because they save lives. The earlier you are diagnosed with oral cancer, the easier it will be for it to get treated.
Preventing Oral Cancer
There are a few things that you can do in order to prevent oral cancer. Living an overall healthy lifestyle, such as eating right, exercising, not smoking and limiting drinking, can cut your risk of oral cancer. You should also brush and floss regularly. If your mouth is unhealthy, then your immune system will have a harder time fighting off cancers.
If you would like to get an oral cancer screening and you are in the Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, AZ area call our office today at (480) 306-5506