Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, sinuses, hard and soft palates, and phalanx (throat). Major factors for the disease include tobacco use and smoking, but having a family history of cancer can also put an individual at risk. This means that even non-smokers can potentially be diagnosed with oral cancer. The good news is that, when it is detected in its early stages, it is fairly manageable and there is a good chance of overcoming it. This is why oral cancer screenings are important – they allow your dentist to find potential problems before they are able to progress into more serious ones. An oral cancer specialist can perform a screening as part of a regular exam in Huntington Beach.
Unlike issues in other areas of the body, oral diseases usually do not show obvious symptoms. Mouth cancer is included in this, which means that you may not realize that you have oral cancer until it has reached a more advanced and more serious stage. If your dentist detects any issues during oral cancer screening tests, however, then steps can be taken earlier to treat it and restore your oral health.
Though symptoms are not always present, some common ones include:
An mouth cancer test is usually performed as part of your routine dental exam. First, your dentist will check inside your mouth for white or red patches and sores. He or she will also feel, with gloved hands, for lumps and other abnormalities. If any issues are detected, a follow-up appointment and/or biopsy may be recommended.
To ensure your complete oral health – that is, being free of oral cancer as well as having healthy teeth and gums – make an appointment at Impression Dental Care in Huntington Beach for an exam and oral cancer screenings.