While it is difficult to assess risk for oral cancer, it is most prevalent among those who over use tobacco and/or alcohol. According to a study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, 8 out of 10 oral cancer cases were caused by tobacco use. Oral cancer can affect the lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, jawbone and throat.
What are the symptoms?
Oral cancer is often asymptomatic in its early stages. Like all cancers, early detection greatly increases the ability to successfully treat and recover from this disease. The doctors and hygienists at Groton Wellness Dental Spa are trained and will perform a screening for evidence of oral cancer.
Some of the more common signs of oral cancer as it progresses are:
- A mouth (or lip) sore/ulcer that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- Any red or white patch in the mouth that won’t go away
- Chronic sore throat
- Swelling of the jaw
- Unusual pain, numbness or bleeding in the mouth
- A lump or thickening in the mouth or throat, or on the tongue
- Difficulty chewing/swallowing food
- New, persistent pain in the jaw, ear or throat
If you are concerned that you may have oral cancer or would like to be screened, contact your dentist immediately for a comprehensive exam.