Regular oral cancel exams are an important component in maintaining your overall health. Oral cancer is most often found on the lips, inside the mouth, the back of the throat, salivary glands, or the tonsils. Men who are over 40 are more likely to get oral cancer than other groups. Smoking and heavy alcohol use greatly increase the risk of developing oral cancer.
During an oral cancer exam, dental professionals looks for signs of cancer, which can appear before a person has any symptoms. When oral cancer is found early, it can be easier to treat, so it is essential to have regular oral cancer exams.
In addition to having oral cancer screenings during your check-ups, you should see your dentist if you do notice any of the following:
- Sores on the lips, gums, or inside of the mouth that bleeds easily and doesn’t heal
- A noticeable lump or thickening in the cheek
- Loss of feeling or numbness in any part of the mouth
- White or red areas on the gums, tongue or inside of mouth
- Problems with chewing or swallowing
- Unexplained pain or soreness in your mouth
- Feeling as though something is caught in the throat with no apparent cause
- Inflammation of the jaw that interferes with the fit of dentures
- Significant vocal changes
Again, it is critical to catch the earliest warning signs of oral cancer, so regular check-ups are essential. At Weninger Dentistry, we perform thorough evaluations during our check-ups, including oral cancer exams, to make sure you’re in good health. Contact us for an appointment today!