Cancerous tumors, which are found on lips, cheeks, sinuses, tongue, throat, roof or floor of mouth and palates, are all known as oral cancer. Oral cancer is nothing but an uncontrollable growth of such cells, which cause harm and damage the tissues surrounding it. It usually appears as a sore or mass in the mouth.
Risk of Oral Cancer For Seniors
It is observed that risk of getting oral cancer increases as we age. The ACS (American Cancer Society) has reported that over half of cancer patients are above the age of 65. Therefore, the older you become, the better oral hygiene you need.
Symptoms and Signs of Oral Cancer:
Oral cancer is difficult to detect on its early stages because it starts as a small white or red spot in our mouth. However, there are a few basic signs.
- Difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue.
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing food.
- Difficulty in speaking.
- A mouth sore that easily bleeds and do not heal.
- Feeling a lump or a tough patch in the mouth.
- Feeling of pain or numbness in the mouth.
- Shifting of teeth or bite.
- A small rough patch or lump in the mouth.
- Change of color in the mouth.
Tips on Reducing the Risk of Oral Cancer:
Here are a few things you can do to limit the chances of getting oral cancer.
- Quit smoking.
- Limit your lips’ exposure to sunlight and use lip balm with sunscreen benefits.
- Eat a balanced diet and maintain overall good health.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a routine dental check up and, if possible, go for oral dental screening.
- Check your mouth regularly, and if you find anything unusual, then consult your dentist soon.
How Visiting a Dentist Can Save Your Life:
The only way you can survive oral cancer is by detecting it sooner. And, to detect it sooner, you must visit your dentist often. The early symptoms of oral cancer are negligible, so only a qualified and trained dentist can notice them. If your dentist finds something suspicious, then he/she may use a different technology and recommend different tests to ensure whether you have oral cancer.
The dentist Fort Worth TX will start by conducting an oral cancer screening. In the screening process, they will thoroughly feel the area of your mouth, neck and face and try to figure out whether there is a need of biopsy or not. There are two ways in which biopsy is carried out.
- In the first option, a brush will be used to remove tissues from your mouth.
- In the second option, local anesthesia will be given to you to ensure you feel no pain while tissues are removed from mouth. These tissues are sent for lab testing and the results of the same confirm whether the patient has cancer or not.
So, if you really wish to avoid oral cancer, then visit your dentist regularly and maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine.