One person dies from pharyngeal and oral cancer every hour in the US. Usually, oral cancer develops due to squamous cell carcinoma. It usually occurs on the floor of the mouth and undersurface of the tongue. The leading causes of oral or mouth cancer are smoking, tobacco use, alcohol, HPV, and aging. To detect oral cancer, your dentist will need to perform ViziLite. This technology makes the cancerous cells fluoresce that can help to spot the lesions early.
7 Day Dental offers ViziLite and it is a 5 min procedure that is painless and extremely effective.
What are common indications and symptoms of oral cancer?
Common indications of oral cancer are given below:
- You have a sore in the mouth that hasn’t healed over three weeks now
- A lump in the cheek
- Clear red patches on the gums or tongue
- White patches on mouth lining or tongue
- Feeling of something alien in the throat and soreness due to it
- You are having difficulty while chewing or swallowing
- It’s difficult for you to move your jaw or tongue
- Swelling or thickening of gums, lips, or other areas inside your mouth
- Unexplained bleeding in any part of the mouth
- Numbness and constant pain in certain area of the mouth without any obvious reason
- Chronic ear pain or change in voice
- Dramatic and worrying weight loss
If you notice any of these changes, be sure to contact 7 Day Dental office where we provide complete oral health care for our valued patients. We have the latest technology to detect and diagnose oral cancer at an early stage.
Possible Reasons for changing profile in oral cancer
There has been an increase in the incidence of oral cancer. Many etiologies have been suggested as a possible explanation for these changes in profile or oral cancer.
Non-smokers are prone to developing oral cancer at any age. Oral cavity cancer is common among very young and very old patients who smoke tobacco and its variants.
However, it’s important to note that in Maryland, 99 out of 500 cases of oral cancer were found in non-smokers, which is 20% of the total reported cases. Our of these 20% patients, 60% were women. Tongue and gingival cancer affected 75% patients while only 3% patients had floor mouth cancers.
Alcohol consumption has increased over past few decades. It is an independent risk of oral cancer and serves as the biggest cause of oral cancer in non-smokers.
Although drinking has decreased in the USA, patients from UK and India showed an increase in the risk factors of use of alcohol.
Viruses play a major role in the etiology of oral cancer, especially in the young patients. Research has found Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) to contribute to the development of lymphomas and nasopharyngeal carcinomas.
Similarly, scientific research has shown human papillomavirus (HPV) to play a significant role in the development of oral cancer. It’s the prime driver for pharyngeal cancers.
Discovery and diagnosis of oral cancer
Once, it was difficult to identify the abnormal tissues in the mouth. It’s due to the reason that a normal person often exhibits such conditions that mimic the indications of oral cancer.
On average, a dentist sees 2-4 patients a day who have soft tissue abnormalities. To understand the complexity, think of a bite inside of your cheek. It would look similar to an indication of oral cancer on the first examination. Some of these conditions may cause physical discomfort while others are totally painless and are difficult to identify.
In order to determine whether these areas indicate cancerous tissues, your dentist will have to watch them over for an extended period. Unfortunately, this approach allows the dangerous lesion to continue growth. When finally detected after examining closely over an extended period, the lesion may have already developed into a later stage cancer, making it extremely difficult to cure it.
To solve this problem, dentists at 7 Day Dental take irritation, hoarseness, and restrictive swallowing seriously. If it doesn’t resolve with 2 weeks with or without treatment, your dentist will schedule an appointment for further detailed examination to identify dangerous tissue.
A biopsy may be needed to determine the nature of your problem area. Your dentist can propose a different type of biopsy depending on the affected area and your overall medical condition. In many cases, your dentist will opt for scalpel biopsy to determine the nature of your problem.
What can you do to prevent oral cancer?
Oral cancer is treated just like any other cancer. Your doctor will perform a surgery to remove the cancerous lesion. It will be followed up by chemotherapy or a radiation therapy.
To prevent oral cancer, you can make some important changes in your lifestyle. For example, you can quit bad habits such as drinking and smoking. Limiting your exposure to sun and eating a balanced diet has also shown to contribute to minimizing the risk of oral cancer.
Apart from making some healthy changes in your lifestyle and eating a balanced diet, it’s important to conduct a self-exam at least once a month. You can do this by simply standing in front of a mirror and looking inside your mouth with a bright light. Pull your cheeks apart and look inside the cheek area for any red or white lumps. Examine your tongue, floor of your mouth, gums, and back of your throat.
See your dentist regularly
Apart from your routine dental visits to 7 Day Dental office, you should be aware of changes in your mouth. When you notice a change, be sure to talk to your dentist. Your dentist will identify persistent abnormalities and refer for biopsy when needed.
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