Did you know that oral cancer doesn’t directly have to be affecting your oral structures to be considered oral cancer? This aggressive form of cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, head, or neck structures and be detrimental to your life. One of the scariest aspects of oral cancer is that it can be confused to be a different health concern, especially when it happens in your mouth. Most patients think that these signs and symptoms may just be minor dental issues. Your dentist in Arlington, VA wants you to know the symptoms of oral cancer, the risks, and how we can help you avoid this harmful disease.
What determines who gets oral cancer? When it comes down to the realities of life, everyone is at risk for oral cancer. But, it’s important to be aware of your personal risk and take steps to lessen it. Around 91% of all diagnoses are linked to the lifestyle you choose to indulge in. By altering our lifestyle choices by keeping our health in mind, we can cut the chances of developing oral cancer.
Eliminate your tobacco use
Tobacco accounts for 2 out of every 3 oral cancer cases. This doesn’t matter if you smoke it or chew it, it’s still deteriorating your overall health. You could also be exposing your loved ones to second-hand smoke, increasing their chances of developing cancer.
X-Out Alcohol abuse
Some alcoholic beverages have benefits like red wine for your heart, but everything needs to be indulged in moderation. Your chances of developing oral cancer are increased by a third if you abuse your alcohol intake.
Mixed Consumers are high-risk patients
If you are a mixed consumer, meaning you smoke and drink excessively, you are increasing your risk for oral cancer by up to 30 times!
Keep your immune system strong.
By preventing yourself from other diseases that attack your immune system like HPV, you could be decreasing your chances of developing oral cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
Most of the time, the earliest signs of oral cancer are mistaken for other problems, such as a painful toothache or lingering cold. If you’re battling consistent abnormalities for weeks at a time, consider visiting our office for an oral cancer screening. Dr. Hazim Sadeddin will be able to spot the signs and symptoms early on that you may not notice. Some of the telltale signs of oral cancer include:
- Persistent mouth sores
- Continuous mouth pain
- Lumps on your cheek
- White or red patches on your gums
- A sore throat that lasts for weeks
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
- Numbness in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Change in voice
- Weight loss
- Chronic bad breath
Getting an Oral Cancer Screening
As your health advocate, Dr. Sadeddin wants to make it known that high-risk patients aren’t the only ones at risk of developing oral cancer. Our team takes this threat to our patients seriously. That’s why we offer oral cancer screenings as a critical part of your regular checkup. Each patient that enters our office will thoroughly have their oral tissues, head, and neck area examined for symptoms that you probably wouldn’t notice otherwise. If your Arlington, VA dentist notices any abnormalities, we can move forward with a biopsy to get you a concrete diagnosis. Give us a call at (703) 495-2247, or request an appointment online today.