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The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

No one likes to talk about the C word. Ever. However, the truth is oral cancer is on the rise. The key to the best prognosis is early detection which I’m sure you already know. There are ways YOU can detect a sign of oral cancer in the mouth at home. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be at home. You can check your mouth anywhere at any time. We want to talk about risk factors and signs to look out for.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Any abnormalities in the mouth are obvious signs of concern. There may be some signs you might not think are red flags that actually are. Oral cancer can actually evolve from trauma in the mouth. If you do not already know – cancer is the division of cells that continues and spreads to its surrounding tissues. If a wound is not healing properly as the cells turn over, it can become precancerous or even cancerous. Timing is everything. Tissues in the mouth should heal within 7-10 days. Whether it be from a cheek bite, a cut from a chip or a burn from pizza or hot soup, it should heal pretty quickly. If you reinjure it, it may be delayed a little, but the general rule of thumb is 7-10 days. It is important to contact your dentist if it passes this window. Here are some signs to watch out for and give you a reason to contact your dentist in Dublin, Ohio for an exam aside from your regular dental cleaning/check-up.

  • Sore throat that doesn’t heal
  • Dentures that stop fitting for no particular reason
  • Red or white sores in your mouth that won’t heal
  • Pain in your tongue
  • A lump in your throat that does not resolve
  • Unexplained bleeding or numbness in your mouth

It is important that an oral cancer screening is completed at every dental visit. This involves examining all of the soft tissues including the lips, cheeks, tongue, roof of the mouth and everything in between. If a suspicious area is found, it is best to see an oral pathologist. They are specialists in this area and will collect all the data of the lesion to make the best diagnosis. Sometimes this involves taking a biopsy of the lesion or excising the lesion to send it in for testing. Here at Dental Reflections Dublin, we do a comprehensive oral cancer screening and give you the education and knowledge to be able to complete your own at home on a regular basis.