Good dentists resolve oral health and hygiene issues. Great dentists take a holistic approach, focusing on how your oral health and hygiene affect your overall wellness. By detecting potential threats before they spread, such as oral cancer, the latter group sets patients up for a long, healthy life that’s full of smiles.
The Dangers of Oral Cancer
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 8,000 people die each year from oral cancer and related complications. The spread of this disease, however, is preventable. With early detection and proper treatment, you can avoid unfortunate, disfiguring surgeries. Even more importantly, you can often treat oral cancer before it becomes life-threatening.
At Exquisite Dentistry of Los Angeles, Dr. Alexie Aguil has been screening patients for years with his advanced VELscope Vx. By using the most advanced technology, he’s able to find early signs of oral cancer, giving you the best possible hope for a cure.
Top Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms
If you’re looking for visual signs and symptoms of oral cancer, Dr. Aguil identifies six concerns you should be on the lookout for.
1. Sores, Lumps, or Thick Patches
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the tongue, lips, throat, pharynx, larynx, and salivary glands. Any swollen or eroded area with rough spots—especially on the lips and gums—could be an early indication of mouth cancer.
2. Red or White Lesions
Often appearing on the lips or inside the mouth, it’s important to notify your dentist of any velvety red, white, or speckled patches. Similarly, persistent sores on the mouth, neck, or face that bleed easily could be early signs of oral cancer.
3. Bleeding or Numbness
Oral cancer is sometimes characterized by unexplained bleeding or numbness in the mouth. This can also include pain, tenderness, or complete loss of feeling in the neck or face area.
4. Ongoing Throat Soreness
If you notice a sudden change in your voice or experience lingering hoarseness, it may be an early sign of mouth cancer. Some patients also report a persistent feeling that something is caught in the back of their throats.
5. Pain in the Ear or Jaw
Discomfort in the jaw or back of the tongue can be early signs of oral cancer. If you have trouble moving your mouth to speak, chew, or swallow, please consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist or doctor. Ear pain is also an indicator, especially when it occurs in one ear and isn’t associated with loss of hearing.
6. Loose Teeth
If one or more of your teeth begin to come loose with no obvious cause, oral cancer could be just one of the issues at work. It’s best to see your dentist right away! The sooner an expert can take a look, the better chance there is of saving the tooth.
The Best Answer to Protect Against Oral Cancer
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to make it a priority to see your dentist. But the better answer is to get annual cancer screenings with your dentist before symptoms even have a chance to show.
At Exquisite Dental, we’ve invested in the technology to help detect cancer at its earliest stages and keep you protected. Contact us today about scheduling your quick and convenient oral cancer screening!