Oral cancer (or mouth cancer) is a head and neck cancer found mostly in ages 40-60, though it can occur at any age. Symptoms of mouth cancer may include lumps, bumps or knobs of cancerous tissue in the mouth, mouth sores that don’t get better, and loose teeth. Every regular appointment with our dentist includes a cancer screening, but there are some more things you might want to know about mouth cancer.
Firstly, you should know the risk factors associated with oral cancer. (An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!) The most serious risk factors for mouth cancer are drug, alcohol and tobacco use. If you drink or smoke and are between 40 and 60 years old, give serious thought to eliminating these habits; it may save your life! Other risk factors include human papillomavirus (HPV), weakened immune systems and too much sun exposure to your lips.
As always, you should visit a professional dental practitioner if you think you have mouth cancer or if you have some of the risk factors, but there are some things you can check at home. With the help of a mirror, pull your cheeks and inspect your mouth’s roof, cheeks, gums, floor, tongue, and throat; see if you can find any lumps, bumps or knobs. Also, feel around on your jaw and neck for any knobs.
Are you ready for an oral cancer screening? Schedule your next appointment with our Fontana, California, office by calling phone now. Dr. Neal Vavra and our staff at Palm Court Dental will inspect you closely and let you know if they see anything suspicious.