Dental concerns can arise at any given time, and are often the product of poor hygiene, threatening bacteria, physical damage from accidents or emergencies, or any combination of these. While problems such as chips and cracks or even decay are among the most common, bear in mind that not every threat is as straight-forward as that. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist discusses how uncommon concerns such as oral cancer an impact your health drastically, as well as how we can help prevent its damage.
What Exactly Is It?
Oral cancer – also known as mouth cancer – is considered any form of cancer that develops in an area contained within the oral cavity. In other words, it can affect your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, throat, roof of the mouth, or even the floor of the mouth. It occurs when the cells contained on the lips or within the mouth develop changes in their DNA makeup, also known as mutations.
Additionally, signs or symptoms that you may have this form of cancer include loose teeth, rough red or white patches within the mouth, sores that do not heal, lumps or other abnormalities, painful swallowing, and even ear pain. If you suspect that you may be experiencing one or more of these signs, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team today.
It Can Affect Anyone
A common misconception about oral cancer is that it only affects those who smoke and/or use alcohol. While these are certainly risk factors, this concern is not limited to just these practices. In fact, anyone at any time can be affected by oral cancer – whether a young child, a senior adult, or anyone in-between. Indeed, it is not a concern to be taken lightly, which is why we encourage our patients to attend routine checkups and cleanings so that we can help monitor the development of your grin and ensure that minor concerns do not develop into major ones.
In addition to alcohol consumption and tobacco use, other risk factors that increase your chances of developing cancer include excessive sun exposure to the lips, transmission of human papillomavirus, and weakened immune systems. For more information about this process, reach out to our team today.
Ways You Can Combat It
While there is no proven way to prevent mouth cancer from developing, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it. One of the major ways that we can assist is by providing an oral cancer screening during your next routine checkup. During this process, we will carefully examine your gums, tongue, cheeks, lips, throat, roof and floor of the mouth for any signs of abnormalities or concerns.
Know Your Options
For more information about preventive measures you can take, or to schedule your visit with our team, contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 today.