When you visit your cosmetic dentist for a routine appointment, he will not only check for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, but also for oral cancer. Oral cancer can form in the mouth, lips, tongue, nasal cavity, cheeks, or throat. Catching oral cancer early is the key to effective treatment, so visit your general and cosmetic dentistry office for regularly scheduled checkups.
Oral cancer is more common in men and individuals over 40. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol excessively makes risk for the disease six times greater, while chewing tobacco users are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer. In addition, family history and lifetime history of sun exposure increase risk. Anyone included in these risk groups should visit their dentists more frequently for checkups.
There are many different types of oral cancers and each has differing symptoms. Sores, red or white patches, bumps, bleeding areas, or sections of skin that feel different anywhere in the throat, lips, mouth, or face can indicate a problem. Pain, soreness, or numbness anywhere in the throat, mouth, tongue, or ears can also be indicators. If you notice any changes in or around your mouth or throat, visit your cosmetic and general dentistry office right away for an exam.
Your dentist will perform an oral cancer check during every exam. A biopsy may be taken if an area of concern is found. Depending on the area, a brush, scalpel, or laser biopsy may be performed.
The first step for most cancer treatments is to remove the cancerous cells from the mouth, lips, or throat. Then, patients usually undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy to prevent any further cancerous cells from growing. Catching oral cancer early dramatically increases likelihood of survival, so be sure to schedule regular examinations with your dentist.
If you’re at risk for oral cancer or have noticed a potential symptom of the disease, visit your Manhattan cosmetic dentistry office right away. Dr. Kenn Kakosian, DDS is an experienced doctor who has been treating patients for over 25 years. Schedule your checkup today by calling (212) 661-0949.