Did you know almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancers this year?
When oral and throat cancer is detected early it can be treated more effectively. Early stages of oral cancer is often painless and may go undetected. This is why at Dr. Dana Chamberlain’s office, we perform an oral cancer screening at every checkup. Regular visits to the dentist can improve the chances of detecting changes in your oral health and finding problems early. Between visits, it is important to be aware of any suspicious signs or symptoms and to visit your dentist as soon as you recognize a problem.
Some things to look for include:
- a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
- red or white patches
- pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
- a lump, rough spot, crust, or small eroded area
- difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
Research has identified a number of factors that contribute to the development of mouth and throat cancers. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at risk. More recently the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, has been associated with oral cancers.