What Do I Do If I Have Oral Cancer?

General Dentistry Bismarck, NDThere are many different factors that influence your chances of getting oral cancer, such as the time you spend in the sun or your use of tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco. If you work outside for a living, for example, you may be more susceptible to cancer caused by UV exposure on your lips.

Oral cancer is a serious issue, which is why we perform oral cancer screenings during your half-yearly check-ups. If you are especially at risk to get oral cancer, we recommend performing a small check on yourself about once a month to identify any changes or troublesome issues as they develop. Keep reading to learn more about oral cancer, and what to look for in between your dental visits.

Who is at risk for oral cancer?

Anyone can be at risk for oral cancer, though your chances of developing oral cancer increase with age and other factors, such as regular tobacco use.

Signs of Oral Cancer

When performing an at-home oral cancer check, you will need to look for many different things. Cancer can look different on different places of the body, and even on different people. It’s important that if you see or experience any of the below symptoms that you contact your dentist immediately to have an examination.

  • Sores in the mouth that do not heal
  • Numbness of the tongue or other part of the mouth
  • Pain in the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Changes in your voice
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • A lump in your cheek
  • Increased difficulty eating, swallowing, or chewing
  • Loose teeth

What happens if my dentist finds oral cancer?

If your dentist identifies oral cancer early, then you may be recommended radiation or medication. Surgery may also be suggested, depending on the location and severity of the cancer. Depending on your specific situation, your dentist will walk you through the options and make a suggestion based on your specific needs.

If you think you are at risk for oral cancer, or are due for a check-up with your dentist, call us today at (701) 222-1800 for our Bismarck office or (701) 463-2884 for our Garrison office.

Posted in: Dental Care

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