Oral cancer is a serious and dangerous disease that you should not take lightly. It can result in the destruction of your smile as well as death. Many people think this disease is confusing and a bit overwhelming, and if that is the case for you, our Smiles Dental team is happy to give you more details so you better understand the sickness. To help you, we have provided the answers to these frequently asked questions:
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
There are many symptoms of oral cancer, including:
-Rough spots, lumps, crusts, or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or cheeks
-White or red patches in the mouth
-Unknown bleeding in the mouth
-Numbness in any area of the face
-Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily
-Soreness in the throat
-Difficulty chewing or swallowing
-A chronic sore throat or a change in voice
-Dramatic weight loss
-A change in the way your dentures fit together
Who can get oral cancer?
Many people can fall victim to oral cancer, including those who use tobacco products, consume a high amount of alcohol, have a family history of cancer, have been excessively exposed to the sun, or have HPV.
How is oral cancer diagnosed?
The most typical way of diagnosing oral cancer is with an oral cancer screening at your dental exams. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your entire oral cavity for signs of the disease. If a sign is found, further testing may be needed to diagnose the problem. This is called a biopsy. Your dentist will remove a section of the sore and will examine it in a dental lab. This test will tell your dentist if the sore is cancerous or not.
How is oral cancer treated?
There is only one way that oral cancer is treated: oral surgery. Your doctor will remove the cancerous section of your mouth and then you will begin radiation therapy or chemotherapy to destroy the other cancerous cells in your body.
If you have additional questions about oral cancer in Klamath Falls, Oregon, that were not included in this blog, please feel free to call 541.887.3305 at your earliest convenience and talk to your dentist, Dr. Dr. Clint Guttman and Dr. Marcus Peterson, or a member of our dental team. We are happy to help you!