Each year, more than 53,000 patients are diagnosed with oral cancer in the U.S. The most common age group for this type of cancer is 41 to 60 years old, but any person can develop oral cancer at any age. It is good to be aware of the most common oral cancer symptoms. Here are the common signs of oral cancer to look for.
Early Signs of Oral Cancer
Early detection makes it easier to treat oral cancer. When cancer is caught early, the survival rate for patients increases.
Cancer can develop on any part of your mouth and throat. This includes your lips, tongue, and sinuses. If you notice any lumps, sores, and swollen areas, you should contact your dentist immediately. These symptoms can make it difficult for you to chew and swallow food or drink.
Another sign is hoarseness or sore throat that lasts longer than two weeks. Unexplained voice changes should be a cause of concern.
There are dozens of symptoms that could be caused by oral cancer. Here are a few other symptoms you should know:
- Loose teeth
- Numbness in the mouth
- Mouth pain
- Persistent bad breath
- White or red patches on tonsils, gums, and cheeks
- Unexplained weight loss
How to Handle Signs of Oral Cancer
You should know that oral cancer can be treatable if detected early. It can be natural to panic when you notice unusual symptoms in your mouth. Resist the urge to let fear take over. Your symptoms may be caused by another condition.
The first thing you should do is schedule an oral cancer screening in Norcross. Your dentist can conduct tests to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your dentist before your screening. This will alert your dentist to check specific areas.
During the screening, a dentist may order an oral x-ray. They will perform a visual inspection of your mouth and throat. If your dentist notices anything unusual, they may perform other tests. Oral screening dye can show abnormal cells in your mouth. A screening light can show the presence of abnormal cells.
After Your Screening for Signs of Oral Cancer
It may take a few visits to your dentist to determine if you have oral cancer. The next steps depend on what your dentist detects. For instance, your dentist may schedule a biopsy of the affected area. During a biopsy, we remove a few cells. We send this sample to a lab. The technician will review the cells to see if they are cancerous.
We may refer you to a specialist based on the results of your biopsy. This type of dentist has a lot of experience diagnosing oral cancer.
There are many options when it comes to the detection of oral cancer. But you should never ignore oral cancer symptoms, and you should always get them checked out by your dentist.
Dental Center of Norcross: Your Dental Screening Solution
At Dental Center of Norcross, our staff cares about our patients’ oral health. Thus, we offer oral cancer screening in Norcross, GA. When it comes to oral cancer, we understand the importance of early detection and regular screenings.
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms or you need to book your yearly screening, we are available. Besides screenings, we specialize in general, family, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. Contact Dental Center of Norcross online or call us at 678.504.6422 to schedule your appointment.