While dental exams are best to keep your teeth and gums healthy, they have another critical benefit. Your dentist will also check for signs of oral cancer, which can be very serious, even deadly.
More Than Meets the Eye
One of the confounding issues with this type of cancer is that the symptoms might seem rather general. Still, they could hint that a very real problem exists. Here are some indications that a professional dental exam is required sooner as opposed to later:
- Sores within the mouth that do not improve with time.
- Lumps or other areas of swelling.
- Red and white patches within the mouth.
- Sudden oral bleeding with no apparent cause.
- Pain when moving the jaw.
- Sudden bouts of bad breath.
Keep in mind that these symptoms may occur in conjunction with more generic issues such as unexplained weight loss. Either way, professional advice is necessary.
Who Might be at Risk?
There are several risk factors associated with this type of cancer. As you may have already guessed, unhealthy lifestyle habits play an important role. Smokers and anyone who regularly uses tobacco products are much more susceptible.
The same holds true in regards to excessive alcohol consumption.
Still, it is thought that other factors may play important roles. Anyone who has a family history of cancer should obtain timely examinations. The consumption of processed foods (in excess), long-term exposure to sunlight and existing conditions such as HPV (human papilloma virus) could also increase your risk.
Targeted and Effective Solutions
It is always wise to adopt a proactive approach. In other words, become familiar with the common symptoms of oral cancer. This is the best way to catch such a disease at an early stage, dramatically increasing your chances of obtaining effective treatment. In the event that a dentist happens to find an abnormality, a biopsy will normally be performed. This helps to determine whether or not any type of cancer is present.
While any type of cancer within the mouth could represent a potentially serious condition, the good news is that numerous treatment options are available.
Still, the best way to avert such situations is to schedule regular dental exams. Thanks to modern technology alongside cutting-edge treatment options, this form of cancer can be stopped in its tracks. Always make it a point to speak with your dentist at the first sign of trouble.