An estimated 54,540 new cases of oral cavity (mouth) or oropharyngeal (throat) cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2023, says the American Cancer Society. While this number is alarming, there are a number of steps you can take right now to prevent oral cancer from developing.
Read on to learn more about causes, symptoms, and prevention tips.
Risk of oral cancer may increase due to a number of factors:
- Being aged 40 years or older
- Tobacco or alcohol use
- HPV infection
- Being a male
- Prolonged ultraviolet (UV) light exposure
- Unbalanced nutrition
- Being overweight
A combination or one or more of these factors may increase the chance of damaged DNA and gene changes that can result in oral cancer.
Signs and symptoms of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer may include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty moving tongue or jaw
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Sore in mouth/on lips that doesn’t go away
- A lump in mouth/on lips
- Red or white patch on lining of mouth, gums, tonsil, or tongue
- Pain or bleeding in mouth
- Feelings of numbness in mouth
- Jaw swelling and pain
- Changes in voice
- Pain or looseness around teeth
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to see a dental expert immediately to detect any signs of cancer as early as possible.
Along with quitting tobacco, moderating/quitting alcohol consumption, getting the HPV vaccine, and being mindful of nutrition, the most important step to oral cancer prevention is to get regularly checked by a dental professional.
During your routing dental check-ups, your dentist will check for any early signs of oral cancer development and advise accordingly if any symptoms are found.
At The Art of Dentistry & Spa, our experienced and educated team of dental professionals are here to keep you informed with our expertise and thorough examinations. If you’re due for your next dental exam or are experiencing any of the warning signs listed above, please contact us today to schedule your appointment.
Give us a call at (732) 846-7100 or request an appointment on our website to get started.