Mouth cancer, popularly known as oral cancer, specifies the areas where neck and head cancers can happen which may comprise of various kinds of tumors. These might affect the tongue, palate, lips, gums, salivary glands and the inside of the cheeks.
Mouth cancer can happen to anyone. People who have been exposed to tobacco, alcohol and other substances have a higher probability of acquiring it. Mouth cancer can be detected by your local dentist in its early stages and the tests are painless and quick.
A routine checkup of your gums and teeth is very important. While checking your teeth your dentist visually checks your lips, face, palpate the jaw and neck area, and examines the top and underside of your tongue for signs of cancer and its metastasis. The Airlie Smile Care team suggests that Oral cancer screenings should be done every six months to be on the safe side.
If the dentist suspects that a patient might have cancer, he/she will immediately recommend a biopsy of the area, in accordance with the severity of the situation. In case of a positive diagnosis, a surgery may be required to treat the cancer affected area, that is usually followed by chemotherapy treatment and radiation.
Now, it is prudent to remember that prevention is always better than the cure.
You should maintain your oral hygiene on a regular basis to prevent tooth decay and diseases that might affect your gums. Brush your teeth twice regularly with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and limit the intake of sugar. If you regulate your lifestyle choices, such as, smoking or chewing tobacco and alcohol consumption, the chances of developing mouth cancer is considerably reduced.
According to statistics, almost 90% of the people who consume tobacco in any form, have higher risks of developing oral cancer. Heavy alcohol consumption escalates the chances of developing mouth cancer. In case of both tobacco and alcohol abuse, the risk of oral cancer is even higher.
Eating habits and age can cause mouth cancer too. Most mouth cancers occur in people who are over the age of 40, the root cause of this is the deficit of fruits and vegetable in their diet. Exposure to sun rays is one of the major causes of cancer on the lips. Recent studies have shown a major rise in the occurrence of oral cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV 16) which is sexually transmitted.
These are a few symptoms of mouth cancer and you must visit your doctor at the earliest if you have been persistently experiencing them for more than two weeks:
- Swelling, lumps, sores or thick patches anywhere inside your mouth or throat
- Certain areas of red or white lesions in your mouth
- The feeling of a lump in your throat
- Swellings that make it difficult to wear dentures
- Pain and numbness anywhere in your mouth, including tongue
- Sudden pain in any ear but without loss of hearing
- Trouble moving your tongue, issues with swallowing, speaking or chewing
- Loose teeth without any major teeth problem
- Consistent sore throat and hoarseness
The early signs of mouth cancer can be diagnosed by your dentist during your regular screenings and can be taken care of before it becomes a serious problem. It is recommended that people who indulge in the daily use of tobacco or/and alcohol should schedule regular appointments with a dentist.
It has been observed that most of the cancers are identified during routine dental checkups. If the cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, there are high chances of treating it before it escalates any further.
Successful treatment at the right time can be fruitful if the cancer is detected in its early stages. Dentists at Airlie Smile Care examine thoroughly and look for early signs of mouth cancer during the regular checkups, but it is necessary that you too recognize these warning signs and inform your dentist about them. Being cautious is important for your health.
Prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few ways in which you can prevent oral cancer:
- If you’re a smoker or if you consume any kind of tobacco products, you should join a tobacco cessation program, to help you quit tobacco.
- If you consume alcohol you must do it in moderation.
- Protect yourself from the HPV infection by practicing safe sex.
- Do not spend a long period of time under the direct rays of the Sun.
- Do not use tanning beds.
To help and support those suffering from or at the risk of oral cancer is of great importance. The families, friends and carers must be kind and sensitive to their condition.
The education, protection and promotion of good health is the key to the raising awareness of mouth cancer amongst the masses. The aim should be to inform the public about the information, symptoms, facts, signs and the main causes of mouth cancer. To make the public aware about the risks and the ways it can be avoided. It is necessary that people are made aware of the consequences of a hectic lifestyle. The risks that they are subjecting themselves to by inculcating habits such as, drinking, smoking and not maintaining a proper diet must be made known to them.
Take care of your teeth and your own self. Avoid junk food. Avoid tobacco. You must know how to hold your alcohol. Too much of anything is bad for you and it is only you who has to pay the price for it. As they say, better safe than sorry.
Look forward to your bright future by leading a healthy life. You must keep yourself updated about healthcare. Visit a dentist every six months for your routine checkup. If you aren’t feeling very well and think that you might be suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms mentioned above, see a doctor at the earliest and get yourself checked.
You can come visit us at Airlie Smile Care for regular checkups and more. Dr Cormac Farrell aims to provide you with a valuable and comfortable experience. Call us now at 0749467600 and fix an appointment if you are looking for a dentist that you can trust.