With cancer, the key is early detection. Prognosis, treatment and survival rate correlate to when the cancer was detected. This is true with oral cancer and why it is vital to visit a dental provider on a regular basis.
Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth and most commonly involves the lips or the tongue. It can also occur in the cheek lining, the floor of the mouth, the gums or the roof of the mouth.
Smoking and tobacco use are linked to oral cancer risk. Other risk factors include alcohol use; chronic irritation like from rough teeth, dentures or fillings; human papilloma virus; taking medications that weaken the immune system; and, poor dental and oral hygiene.
Some oral cancers begin as a white plaque or as a mouth ulcer. Symptoms of oral cancer include a sore, lump, or ulcer in the mouth which is usually pale-colored, but can also be dark or discolored. Usually, it is painless at first, but then sometimes develops a burning sensation or pain when the tumor becomes advanced. Other oral cancer symptoms can include chewing problems, pain with swallowing, speech difficulties, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, or weight loss.
With oral cancer, there is a 90 percent cure rate if detected early. My Family Dentistry offers the most effective oral cancer screening called the Vizilite system. First, the mouth is rinsed with a special solution. Then, an exam is performed with a specially designed light. Any suspicious tissue is easily visible. Early diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer greatly increases the chances of survival, so schedule a dental screening today.
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