Find out whether the changes you are experiencing could be warning you of oral cancer.
While oral cancer may not get as much discussion as other cancers it certainly isn’t something to ignore. In fact, oral cancer actually has a higher death rate than other more commonly talked about cancers like Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular cancer and cervical cancer. Our Braintree, MA dentists are here to provide you with warning signs of oral cancer and when to visit us for care.
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth including the throat, lips, salivary glands and sinuses, just to name a few. As with any cancer or serious illness, early detection is key to having a successful and effective treatment. If you experience any of these symptoms for more than two weeks then it’s time to give our Braintree general dentist a call:
- A lump, sore, or suspicious growth on the throat or mouth
- Red or white lesions on your lips or in your mouth
- Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth
- Painful or difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing
While oral cancer can happen to anyone there are some habits and lifestyle choices that can increase your risk. Using tobacco in any form, whether it’s smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, can increase your chances of developing oral cancer. The Mouth Cancer Foundation has reported that as many as 90 percent of those who have been diagnosed with oral cancer also use tobacco. Heavy drinkers are also at an increased risk.
Age and nutrition also play a role. Those over the age of 40 are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, and those whose diets lack nutrients found in fruits and vegetables are also more likely to develop this form of cancer.
Fortunately, oral cancer screenings are easy, fast and painless. We can even perform them at your next dental exam! It only takes a few minutes to examine your mouth to check for suspicious growths or symptoms that could be indicative of cancer. Any suspicious lumps or growths will be biopsied and tested for cancer.
If you are noticing a suspicious growth or lump, or any changes to your oral health, then it’s time to call Dr. George Salem and Associates in Braintree, MA right away.