How Can My Dentist Detect Early Signs of Cancer in My Mouth?
Some early signs of oral cancer are often mistaken for other problems, such as a cold or a toothache. If you have symptoms that last for some time, it’s important to see your dentist so that oral cancer, if present, can be diagnosed as soon as possible. Additionally, making sure you schedule your preventative dental checkups and cleanings every six months will allow your trusted dentist at High Street Dentistry to detect the early stages of oral cancer, potentially saving your life.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can happen anywhere in the mouth. This includes the tongue, lips, gums, the inside of the cheeks, the roof or floor of the mouth, in the salivary gland, or in the tonsils. Symptoms include sores or ulcers in the mouth that do not heal, persistent pain in the mouth, a lump or thickening in the cheek, or a white or red patch on the gums, tongue, the lining of the mouth, or on the tonsils.
Signs and symptoms also include a feeling that something is caught in the throat, difficulty chewing or swallowing, trouble moving the tongue or jaw, numbness, loosening of teeth, pain around the teeth or jaw, voice changes, a lump in the neck, or persistent bad breath. These symptoms do not always mean that oral cancer is present, but will require a dental checkup to rule any problems out.
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
During your routine dental examination, we will perform an oral cancer screening to look for signs of cancer or any precancerous conditions in your mouth. If any suspicious area is found, we may remove a sample of cells in a procedure called a biopsy. The sample is then sent to a laboratory which will determine whether cancer or precancerous changes are present. Our goal is to identify oral cancer in the early stages when it’s easiest to remove and most likely to be cured.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Visit us at High Street Dentistry to learn more about oral cancer screenings and how they can potentially save your life. Our highly trained and experienced team is committed to helping you keep your smile healthy for a lifetime! Call us today!