Nearly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Of those, an estimated 25 percent will have no known risk factors. However, if oral cancer is detected and treated early, there is a much higher chance of surviving without long-term problems.
At Weaver, Reckner, & Reinhart Dental Associates, we perform oral cancer screenings as part of the routine dental examination. Oral cancer refers to any cancer that has started around the mouth area. This cancer can affect the soft and hard palate of the mouth, throat, floor of the mouth, tongue, lips, cheeks, and even the sinuses.
Performing a self-examination on a regular basis is critical to catching any changes or new growths early in their development. While some individuals experience no oral cancer symptoms, you should contact a dentist if you are experiencing any of these potential signs of the illness:
- A feeling that something is caught in the throat or a sore throat.
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the jaw or tongue.
- Unexplained changes in voice.
- Swelling in the jaw area.
- A white or red patch develops on the mouth lining, tongue, tonsils, or gums.
- Numbness, pain, bleeding in the lips or mouth.
- A sore on the lip or around the mouth that will not heal.
- A lump or thickening on the gums, lips, or elsewhere in the mouth.
Oral cancer has many risk factors that can lead to it developing. Alcohol and tobacco are among the greatest risk factors, as well as prolonged sun exposure. Infection with the sexually transmitted HPV virus has also been linked to oral cancer of the mouth and throat.
As one of the leading dentists for children and adults in Souderton and Harleysville, Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates is committed to providing our patients and their families with the highest quality of care. If you’re interested in more information regarding our practice or dental services, including dental implants in Montgomery County, please browse our website. If you have questions about our oral cancer screenings, we invite you to contact one of our offices at 215-486-1649 or 215-486-1652.