Thousands of Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Oral cancer is a particularly deadly type of cancer. Survivors of oral cancer must often cope with the disfiguring effects of surgical treatment, such as the removal of portions of the tongue and jawbone. Routine appointments with a local dentist are critical for the early detection of this life-threatening disease. Consider talking to your cosmetic dentist about oral cancer screenings.
There are different types of oral cancer. Oral cancers are categorized according to the cell of origin. For example, some cancers begin in the gums, hard palate, cheek lining, or tongue, while others originate in the throat or floor of the mouth.
Lifestyle risk factors play a significant role in the development of oral cancer. Individuals who smoke or use smokeless tobacco products are at a very high risk, as are those who consume alcohol to excess. Another risk factor is infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).
If you think you could be experiencing the symptoms of oral cancer, see a dentist promptly. These symptoms may include a persistent sore or irritation in the mouth, white or red patches, and pain or numbness. Difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking can also indicate oral cancer, along with changes in the alignment of your upper and lower teeth.
Like other types of cancer, common treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy. Your doctor will explain your treatment options and discuss which options might be best for you. Often, a combination of treatments is recommended, such as chemotherapy following surgical removal of a tumor.
Early detection of oral cancer is critical, which is why Dental Care of Stamford is pleased to offer a new non-invasive oral cancer test to residents of the Stamford area. Call our cosmetic dentistry office at (203) 883-4464 and ask us about ViziLite, which can improve early detection rates. Our dentists also provide tooth whitening, orthodontic treatment, and TMJ treatment.