A Local Dentist Can Identify Signs of Oral Cancer

Posted on: April 1, 2016


A trip to the local dentist can help patients to catch oral cancer in its early stages. As with any cancer, early prevention is key to having the largest amount of options for treatment and the best shot at beating the disease.  The American Cancer Society estimates that around 35,000 U.S. adults are diagnosed with oral cancer on an annual basis.  Men over the age of fifty are at the greatest risk, making visiting our office that much more important.

During a routine dental exam and teeth cleaning, a local dentist will remove bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums.  We also look for signs of cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer.  This enables us to treat patients and resolve oral health issues before they become a major problem.  When we see something that looks like oral cancer we will typically recommend further tests and the first step in getting treatment.  Here is what we are looking for:

    Rough patches.  Gum tissue and cheeks are nice and smooth.  Rough patches can be a sign of oral cancer.  As a dentist, it is easy for us to identify this during an exam and you can also watch for them at home. Simply run your tongue along your gums and cheeks to see if any rough patches have developed.  If so, call us to schedule an exam.
    Strange bumps.  If you feel a bump or lump on the inside of your mouth, you need to have it tested for cancer.  We will let you know if we identify anything during a dental exam.
    Sores that don’t go away.  It is unnatural to have sores for a prolonged period of time and a sign of a more serious health issue.  Canker sores should go away after a couple of days.  If yours are lasting longer than two weeks, they need to be checked out.
    Velvety bumps.  Bumps with a velvety texture that are white, red, or both can be signs of oral cancer.
    Teeth that moved suddenly.  Your teeth should stop moving once all of your adult teeth have come in. If your teeth or dentures stop fitting together properly, for no known reason, it could be a cancerous growth that is pushing them out of place.

As a local dentist, we are a patients’ first line of defense in treating oral cancer because we can watch for the symptoms and make sure that further testing and treatment is done quickly.  Catching cancer early can make the difference between life and death, making bi-annual trips to the dentist that much more important.

There are also specific things you can do to decrease your risk of oral cancer.  The most important one is to stop using smokeless tobacco if you are currently doing so.  Using chewing tobacco, snuff, and chew increases a person’s risk of oral cancer by sixty percent.  This is a staggering statistic followed by excessive drinking and smoking, which increase a person’s risk by six percent.  Eliminating unhealthy habits and having regular dental exams helps people to stay in optimal oral health.

Related Posts

April 27, 2017

Better Safe Than Sorry: Oral Cancer Screenings At The Dentist

No matter how happy a person may seem, there is always a little voice in the back of one's thought that worries about all the dangerous risks in life. Eventually, that voice can become overwhelming …

February 17, 2017

Regular Dental Visits Can Treat Bad Breath

Oral Cancer ScreeningWe can provide a quick oral cancer screening during a checkup to ensure that you are cancer free. If we find any symptoms or early signs, we will recommend the next best course …

June 24, 2014

Our Philadelphia Dentist Can Spot Oral Cancer

As a local Philadelphia dentist, we treat patients of all ages and work to ensure that our patients stay in good oral health.  This starts at home with regular preventative care and a healthy diet …

June 16, 2019

7 Foods to Eat if You Have Gum Disease

More than half of Americans suffer from some type of gum disease. Luckily, with early diagnosis, you may still be able to stop the disease and overturn the damages by taking specific measures. The internet …