Oral cancers can be detected in early stages because the oral area is a place where you can easily spot changes. Regular oral self-examination will help with the detection of any oral cancer and increase recovery chances.
Factors That May Cause Cancer
Studies have identified certain factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer. Most common of these factors is consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Other factors are bad oral hygiene, sores caused by prosthesis which do not fit and by uneven surface of teeth, malnutrition, some chronic infections and a combination of all these factors.
Studies suggest that the oral cancer mortality rate among smokers is four times higher than non-smokers. There are several scientific publications suggesting that the heat emanating from cigarettes, pipes and cigars cause oral and lip cancers.
People over the age of 40, people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol or people who use smokeless tobacco including snuff carry the risk of oral cancer.
Perform Self-Examination Once A Month
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend that everyone should perform a self-examination for oral cancer every month. If you’re under high risk from oral cancer (if you’re smoking, consuming alcohol, using smokeless tobacco or snuff) you have to see your dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon for an annual examination.
Oral examination is performed under bright light and using a mirror:
– Take your prosthesis out if you have any
– Take a look and touch the inside of your lips and the front of your gums
– Fling your head back in order to examine your palate and feel with your hands
– Pull your jaw outwards in order to see the inner surface and the back of your gums
– Take your tongue out and examine all of its surface
– Examine the both sides of your neck by touching – including the bottom of your lower jaw – to see if there are any lumps or enlarged lymph nodes.
Early Diagnosis and Treatment Increase Recovery Chance
– When you are performing an oral self-examination, you should look for the following:
– White spots on the oral tissue (leukoplakia)
– Red spots (erythroplakia)
– Red and white spots (erythroleukoplakia)
– Sores that won’t heal and bleed easily
– Abnormal lumps or thickening in the oral tissue
– Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
– Having difficulty chewing or swallowing
– Mass or lumps on the neck
If you display any of these symptoms, please see your oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon may recommend a biopsy if he/she suspects something. A biopsy involves taking a sample from the suspicious tissue and sending it to the lab for microscopic analysis. The issue is identified after the microscopic analysis. The biopsy report doesn’t only allow for a diagnosis, but also helps the doctor to plan for a specific treatment.
A Note About Your Oral Health
Do not forget that your mouth is one of the most important early warning systems in your body. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. If you notice anything, get an appointment for an immediate examination. An early treatment may be the key to a full recovery.
When you have a suspicious appearance in your mouth or if you feel a change, you may get an appointment from Maxillofacial Surgeon Specialist Dr. Erdem Kaya in Kuşadası Lotus Dental Clinic.