Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the oral cavity – mouth and jaw. It occurs when your body develops abnormal cells in your oral cavity. These cells can be found anywhere in the soft tissues inside your mouth, including on the tongue, lips, gums, palate (roof of the mouth), cheeks or floor of the mouth.
Oral cancer may be easy to treat if it’s found early; however, it can be harder to treat if it has spread to other parts of your body. At Open Wide La Jolla, we perform through oral cancer exams to help with early detection.
- Pain, bleeding or lumps in the mouth
- Sores that do not heal
- A feeling of something stuck in the throat (like a lump)
- Change in the way your teeth fit together (teeth may feel loose)
Each person with oral cancer may experience different symptoms, and some symptoms of oral cancer may resemble those of other disorders or medical problems. Always consult your dentist or health care provider for a diagnosis.
A regular dental exam can help detect signs of oral cancer early enough for treatment to be successful.
Oral cancer is a disease that affects the mouth and jaw, but it can be treated if detected early. A routine dental exam should be included in your health maintenance schedule. A regular dental exam may help detect signs of oral cancer early enough for treatment to be successful.
The main causes of oral cancer are:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Excessive sun exposure to the lips
Early detection for oral cancer treatments is crucial, make regular dental checkups a priority for your health. If you have any questions about oral cancer, please contact us.