What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer

At least twice a year, every person should get a routine dental check-up at their dentist in Edmonton to keep track of their overall oral health and prevent any severe dental problems from arising. Oral cancer can be a frightening and potentially life-threatening disease, so immediately detecting oral cancer symptoms is essential in combating it early on. At My Family Dental, we conduct an oral cancer screening with every check-up and dental hygiene appointment. This type of screening typically lasts for around 5 minutes.

You may be wondering, what is oral cancer, exactly? Oral cancer is when cancer cells begin growing rapidly in your mouth – and often appear as a sore that won’t go away. Oral cancer can spread quickly, especially if you smoke or use other tobacco products. At My Family Dental, we recommend that adults get a cancer screening every three years – the older you get, the more often you should consider getting an oral cancer screening. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?

Being aware of oral cancer symptoms is the first step to ensuring your oral health stays in optimal condition. Here are the most common symptoms of oral cancer to be aware of:

  • Mouth sore or ulcer that hasn’t healed after two weeks 
  • A lump or thickening in your mouth, cheek, or throat
  • A persistent sore throat
  • Dysphagia or difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Numbness in your mouth or tongue
  • A white or red patch in your mouth, typically on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
  • Speech impairment 
  • Difficulty moving the jaw and tongue

If you have any of these symptoms, you should visit your Edmonton dentist to get checked out and ensure you aren’t showing early signs of oral cancer. Although they may not be related, it’s important to have them looked at as early as possible. 

What Causes Oral Cancer?

When you live an unhealthy lifestyle, it increases your chances of developing oral cancer. Here are some usual causes of oral cancer to be aware of:

  • Use of any tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
  • Drinking alcohol every day to an extreme. 
  • Excessive sun exposure to your lips – remember to add sunscreen to your lips well when going out in the sun.
  • A sexually transmitted virus, known as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
  • A family history of cancer.

At My Family Dental, an oral cancer screening is one of many examinations our highly trained dentists perform to prevent oral cancer and other serious dental problems from developing. We are open five days a week and accept evening and weekend appointments to ensure that you get the dental care you need when you need it. To learn more about our oral cancer screening, give us a call today to book your appointment!

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