Knowing the Signs of Oral Cancer

How your dentists in Shelton, CT can help prevent oral cancer.

How much do you know about oral cancer? Did you know oral cancer can be disfiguring? Did you know oral cancer can kill you? The truth is, oral cancer is serious, with some serious consequences. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of oral cancer.

Dr. Michael Caserta and Dr. Adrian Basu at Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT offers comprehensive dental care, including oral cancer screening, to help protect you against oral cancer.

The first person to spot potential oral cancer could be you, so it’s vital you know what to look for. Some of the signs of oral cancer include:

  • Lesions or open sores in or around your mouth that don’t heal
  • Wrinkled, white, or thickened patches of tissue inside your mouth
  • Red, irritated, or rough areas of tissue inside your mouth
  • Lymph node swelling under your jaw or in your neck

You may also notice uncomfortable symptoms like these:

  • Tenderness or numbness in your face or in your mouth
  • Pain when you swallow, chew, or talk
  • Frequent hoarseness and sore throat

Doing frequent self-checks of your tissue is a great way to catch oral cancer in its early stages. Self-checks are especially important if you use tobacco products or drink excessive amounts of alcohol, which are two main causes of oral cancer.

When you do a self-check, you need to examine your lips, the inside lining of your cheeks, your gums, and the roof of your mouth. You should also grab your tongue with a small piece of tissue and pull your tongue forward. This will make it easier to examine the sides of your tongue and underneath your tongue.

Visiting your dentist at least once each year and your dental hygienist at least every six months are also important ways to prevent oral cancer. Your dental professionals are experts at oral cancer screenings.

If you have an area that looks suspicious, your dentist may take a sample of tissue and send it off for a biopsy. During a biopsy, a pathologist looks at the tissue sample under a microscope to determine if the tissue is benign, abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous.

Oral cancer is highly treatable if found in the early stages. Treatment for oral cancer includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Oral cancer is serious business, and you need the help of an expert. To find out more about oral cancer signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, call Dr. Michael Caserta and Dr. Adrian Basu of Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT at (203) 924-4115. Call today.