Detecting Oral Cancer By Visiting Your Dentist

If detected too late, oral cancer has significant death hazards, with a survival rate of just around 50% five years later.

This high fatality rate is linked since it is occasionally found later in its development. There is no nationwide early screening program, and the early phases of oral cancer are challenging for individuals to identify themselves. Therefore, regularly scheduling appointments with a dentist in Midtown Manhattan, NY, is best. 

Detecting oral cancer by visiting your dentist

A tumor that develops in a mouth area, often on the tongue’s surface, inside the cheek area, on the palate or gum, or on the palate’s roof, is called oral cancer, occasionally called mouth cancer. Tumors may develop in less frequent cases in the tonsils, pharynx (part of the throat), or salivary glands.

Why Can Oral Cancer Be Hard To Spot?

Early detection is necessary to treat oral cancer effectively; however, initial symptoms may not be noticeable for someone at home doing their regular dental schedule of brushing and flossing.

Early on, there usually is little pain, and any signs present may be challenging to recognize. These symptoms could involve small areas of tissue in the mouth that are a different color, which is only apparent when light is flashed straight into the mouth.

Warning Signs to Look Out For

As there are no apparent indications to look out for in the early stages of oral cancer, it can be difficult to find it, but anyone who has a few of the following symptoms needs to arrange a visit with a dentist:

  • An ulcer or mouth sore that fails to heal away after three weeks
  • Mouth, head, or neck lumps or swelling
  • Inexplicable difficulties moving the jaw or tongue, or difficulty chewing
  • Extreme hoarseness and an aching throat that persists for several weeks
  • New and unexplained tooth motion (not impact-related, for example)

Risk Factors

Oral cancer primarily impacts individuals over the age of 50 and has been linked to those who have been smoking for a significant portion of their lifespan, however, it can also affect non-smokers. More than 4% of all illnesses are for those under 40.

Other danger signs include:

  • Tobacco: Chewing tobacco is a type of smokeless tobacco, as is second-hand smoke. Compared to non-exposed, never-smokers, the risk of mouth cancer is 87% higher among never-smokers who ever came into contact with ETS at home or work.
  • Alcohol: A weekly consumption of more than 10 units of alcohol can raise the risk of oral cancer by 81%.
  • Infection: Compared to the general population, people with HIV/AIDS have a nearly twice-as-high chance of acquiring mouth cancer.