A vital component of visiting the dentist on a regular basis allows professionals to check for signs and symptoms of oral cancer of the mouth, neck, or head. Oral cancer, like other forms of aggressive cancer, results as cells grow abnormally fast and fail to die during their normal life cycle. A dentist will often check for signs of oral cancer by examining above and below the tongue, on the lips, inside the cheek, or on the outside of the jaw and neck. Signs of and symptoms suggesting oral cancer include dry spots, red or white blotches in infected areas, mouth bleeding, numbness, ear pain, a change in voice, or unexplainable pain in the oral cavity. Men over the age of 50 are the most likely to develop oral cancer, and the probability of oral cancer greatly increases with smokers, tobacco chewers, and heavy alcohol drinkers.
By regularly checking the mouth and flesh for changes in the texture and appearance of tissue, a dentist may be able to prevent an oral cancer from further developing. If concerned with a certain area, a dentist may suggest a biopsy to test a small group of the cells for abnormal characteristics. If a larger area of flesh is concerning, the dentist will perform a biopsy with a scalpel, using a local anesthesia to numb the area, and to remove a larger section of flesh. After the biopsy test results are available, a dentist will then decide how to further proceed with treatment, if necessary. If oral cancer is confirmed, a further biopsy may be required in addition to radiation and/or chemotherapy. For individuals suffering from oral cancers, the survival rate for the first is high; however, after 5 years the survival rate roughly decreases to 50%. Finding and treating oral cancer as preventative care reinforces the importance of attending a dentist regularly for routine cleanings and consistent oral cavity exams. For more information regarding the symptoms or treatment of oral cancer, please read more by clicking HERE.
Dr. Ash and his team of trained professional hygienists, dental health professionals, and friendly customer service representatives make any dentist appointment and cleaning stress-free. In addition to annual cleanings and oral cavity checks, Dr. Ash and specializes in oral appliances for teeth grinding and sleep apnea, as well asteeth bleaching, sleep dentistry, Invisalign, and dental implants. Call today to schedule an appointment or have a customer service agent answer any of your questions regarding services offered. Dr. Ash will help you keep smiling.