early warning signs, oral cancer, Cary Family Dental, dental check-ups, HPV, oral health, Dr. Niraj Patel

Early Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

added on: June 12, 2024

Oral cancer is a serious condition that affects thousands of people every year. However, if caught early, it is highly treatable. Cary Family Dental in Cary, IL is here to share the early warning signs of oral cancer and why regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection and prevention.

Understanding Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat. Being aware of the early warning signs can help you catch the disease in its initial stages when treatment is most effective.

Early Warning Signs to Watch For

  • Persistent Sores: One of the most common signs of oral cancer is a sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks. These sores can appear on the lips, gums, tongue, or the inside of the cheeks.

  • Red or White Patches: Look out for red, white, or mixed red and white patches inside your mouth or on your lips. These patches can be precancerous and should be checked by a dentist.

  • Lumps and Thickening: Any unusual lumps, swellings, or thickening of the tissues in your mouth, neck, or throat could be a sign of oral cancer.

  • Difficulty Swallowing: Persistent difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue can be indicative of oral cancer. This might also include a feeling that something is caught in your throat.

  • Numbness: Unexplained numbness or loss of feeling in any part of your mouth, face, or neck should be a red flag.

  • Ear Pain: Chronic pain in one ear without hearing loss can sometimes be associated with oral cancer.

  • Voice Changes: A chronic sore throat or changes in your voice, such as hoarseness, that don’t go away could also be warning signs.

Risk Factors to Consider

Oral cancer is strongly linked to certain risk factors, including smoking and tobacco use. However, in the US, 70% of oral cancers are linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, meaning that anyone who is sexually active is at risk. However, the HPV vaccine can protect against the types of HPV linked to oral cancer. Understanding these risk factors highlights the importance of regular screenings and being vigilant about any changes in your oral health.

Importance of Regular Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups play a vital role in the early detection of oral cancer. During these visits, Dr. Niraj Patel and the team at Cary Family Dental will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, looking for any signs of abnormal tissue changes. Early detection through routine screenings can lead to more effective treatment and a better prognosis.

Visit Cary Family Dental in Cary, IL

At Cary Family Dental in Cary, IL, Dr. Niraj Patel and our dedicated team are committed to your overall health and well-being. We emphasize the importance of regular dental visits not only for maintaining your smile but also for early detection of serious conditions like oral cancer. If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. We’re here to provide you with the care and support you need to stay healthy.

Taking charge of your oral health is essential. By staying informed and vigilant about the early warning signs of oral cancer, you can take proactive steps to protect yourself. Schedule your next dental check-up with Dr. Niraj Patel at Cary Family Dental today and ensure your mouth stays healthy and cancer-free. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Posted In: Oral Cancer