How can you stay one-step ahead of oral cancer?
Have you ever been asked to consider or take an exam for oral cancer? If you did, you likely thought it was a good idea, it was included in your insurance, or just wanted to be sure all was well with your mouth. But if you didn’t, maybe you didn’t think you needed it, or maybe you were apprehensive about it.
Symptoms and Exams
The fact is no one is immune to oral cancer, and you’re always better off getting an exam done. Preventative care is a major reason for getting an exam, but not the only one. Many people who may have cancer don’t know they have it until the symptoms have become all too noticeable. Getting an exam as soon as you can allows you to start treatment early; this is especially good if any of your symptoms are still minor.
Symptoms for oral cancer, as expected, tend to involve things around the mouth. This can include really bad feelings in your throat, tongue, and jaw, pain, and general discomfort. Other notable symptoms include red sores or white patches inside of the mouth, such as on the roof, bottom, or back near the molars.
Causes and Solutions
Oral cancer can come in a variety of ways, including the human papilloma virus (HPV). While most strains of HPV are harmless, HPV16 specifically can affect your mouth. Aside from sexually transmitted diseases, oral cancer can come from excessive tobacco and alcohol use, as well as too much sun exposure to the lips.
No tobacco consumption, and little to no alcohol, are ways to reduce your risk of oral cancer. It’s also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as these foods contain vitamins that can help you reduce that risk. And of course, seeing your dentist regularly to let them look at your teeth thoroughly.
If you are seeking treatment, there are many ways you can do so. Radiation therapy and surgery are major ones, especially if the cancer is detected early. There’s also chemotherapy, which can be done at the same time as radiation therapy. However, in the case of oral cancer, one style of treatment can’t work alone; these different forms have to work together to reduce or eliminate the cancer cells.
In addition to the varying treatments, a different variety of medical professionals are able to help. Your doctor might recommend a specialist depending on where exactly the issue lies; these can include other dentists, doctors specializing in the neck and head, ear and nose, or those who specifically deal in cancers.
If you would like to have an oral cancer exam, as well as make sure your teeth are healthy and clean, come to Dr. Patty’s Dental Boutique and Spa. Featuring the best in cosmetic dentistry, our Ft. Lauderdale location is guaranteed to keep you relaxed as your well taken care of. Call 954-914-7407 today to schedule your free consultation.