Oral cancer is one of the most serious problems in general dentistry near Grand Rapids . Scheduling regular dental exams is the best way to detect oral cancer. When your dentist professionally cleans your teeth, he or she will check for early signs of oral cancer and biopsy any affected tissue. Early detection of oral cancer leads to the best possible prognosis. If oral cancer is not caught early, you may suffer serious health consequences. Read on to learn more about oral cancer.
Oral cancer can usually be easily detected during the course of your normal general dentistry exam. However, you do have to schedule regular visits with your dentist to ensure the problem is identified as soon as possible. Only your dentist can see inside your entire mouth, including your tongue, the back of your throat, your soft mouth tissues, and your entire gums. Oral cancer can develop anywhere in your mouth. Many patients see no visible changes inside their mouth and are only diagnosed with cancer after visiting a dentist.
As your general dentistry team will advise you, oral cancer usually begins as a sore that simply will not go away. Many people also see red or white patches in their soft mouth tissues, while others experience a numb or tender mouth or lips. Oral cancer can sometimes appear as a small bump or rough spot where the tissue has become thick or eroded. If you experience difficulty swallowing, speaking, chewing, or moving your tongue, tell your dentist right away. Oral cancer may also make it difficult to properly fit your teeth together when closing your mouth.
A dentist office offers many different kinds of treatment for oral cancer. Often, a dentist will work closely in a team effort with oncologists, surgeons, and restorative specialists to remove oral cancer and restore healthy function to your mouth. Treatment may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Treatment may also involve a combination of those three options.