The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 450,000 new cases of oral cancer each year. With numbers like these, it’s hard not to get concerned about your own oral health. The good news is that there are ways to detect oral cancer early on. And, the more you visit your dentist, the more likely you’ll find cancer at an early stage.
Signs of Oral Cancer
An early sign of oral cancer is when patients start to develop long-lasting lesions in their mouths. These lesions are generally white or red and last longer than two weeks. The red lesions are exceedingly problematic since they are less common and usually pose a higher risk of becoming cancerous.
Additionally, you may begin to develop a curious lump in your mouth. The thickening of the mouth’s soft tissues is another sign that you may have oral cancer. Furthermore, if you start experiencing difficulty chewing or swallowing, difficulty moving the tongue or jaw, or ear pain, you might want to get checked out by a doctor.
If you get lesions, lumps, or any other conditions, see your dentist or your doctor. When you see your dental team, they may recommend a biopsy for any unusual-looking bumps in your mouth.
However, all of these conditions could be signs of other oral diseases as well, instead of oral cancer. Your dentist will be able to tell whether you’re dealing with other diseases, such as gum disease, before conducting additional tests.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
Unfortunately, anyone can get oral cancer. However, some people are more likely to develop oral cancer based on their demographics and habits. First of all, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women. Additionally, people over 55 years old are the demographic that reports most cases.
Your habits and routines are also a major factor in whether or not you’ll develop oral cancer. For example, cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol use could put you at a higher risk. Additionally, a diet that doesn’t contain the proper nutrients may contribute to oral cancer as well.
Visit Your Dentist in Kanata, Ontario
Your dentist and your dental hygienists are experts in oral hygiene. If they see something out of the ordinary, they’ll be sure to let you know. That’s why you should continue visiting your dentist for regular visits every six months and schedule additional appointments if anything alarms you.