What Is It?
Oral cancers appear as a growth or sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away–even after a few weeks. They include cancers of your lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of your mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat. Oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
Early detection is vital for the successful prevention and treatment of oral cancer. Since it can disfigure your face and neck, it’s important for you to get checked early and often.
Here at Burba Dental Partners, we offer a full oral cancer screening right here in our office. It’s proven to detect oral lesions– even those that aren’t visible to the naked eye. The procedure is painless and it only takes a few minutes.
The American Dental Association estimates that oral cancers account for about 2.9% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. Furthermore, they are responsible for about 1.6% of all cancer deaths.
There are a number of risk factors, but even if you aren’t high risk, you can still get it. Approximately 25% of diagnosed oral cancer cases have little to no risk factors.
Oral cancer is more common in men than women, and you’re more likely to get it after the age of 35. Tobacco and alcohol are huge contributors, along with prolonged exposure to sunlight (lip cancer). Finally, a diet that’s low in fruits and vegetables, and the sexually transmitted disease HPV can up your odds of getting it.
- Red and/or white patches in your mouth.
- Any sore that doesn’t heal within 14 days.
- Persistent hoarseness.
- Feeling like something is caught in your throat.
- Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Ear pain on one side only.
- A sore under a denture that doesn’t heal.
- A lump or thickening in your mouth or on your neck.
If you catch and treat oral cancer in its early stages, you may have little in the way of post-treatment disfigurement. Consequently, for those who don’t catch it until a later stage– the outcome can be devastating. You may require the reconstruction of portions of your oral cavity or facial features.
As a result, you may need therapy to assist in your speech, chewing your foods, and with any other problems that come with the lack of salivary function. Additionally, fabrication of your dental or facial prostheses is possible.
Experts estimate that about one person dies every day, every hour, from oral cancer. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you don’t wait to get tested. At Burba Dental Partners, we perform a full oral cancer screening. Our special digital camera allows us to document our findings for our records. From here, we will designate a proper treatment plan.
Make an Appointment
If you’d like to get screened, or you’re just due for an appointment– call us or click here to request one online.
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, practicing in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He loves to paint, draw, and has a passion for woodworking.