Early detection of oral cancer can save your life. At Heritage Dental Hygiene, your annual visit includes an oral cancer screening. We examine the head and neck for any abnormalities and examine the soft tissues in your mouth. The most common sites to find oral cancer are on the tongue, followed by the lip, floor of the mouth, salivary glands, inside your cheeks, the gingiva, and the palate. Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop oral cancer. This includes: age, use of tobacco in any form, excessive use of alcohol, chronic irritation of tissues due to ill fitting dentures or fillings, repeated trauma to the mouth and overexposure to the sun.
The key to successful treatment is to recognize the early signs and symptoms. Please contact us if you have experienced any of the following:
- A sore on the lips, gums, or inside of your mouth that bleeds easily and does’t heal
- A lump or thickening in the cheek that you can feel with your tongue
- Loss of feeling or numbness in any part of your mouth
- White or red patches on the gums, tongue or inside of mouth
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
- Soreness or unexplained pain in your mouth, or feeling that something is caught in your throat with no known cause
- Swelling of the jaw causing dentures to fit poorly
- Change in your voice
Visit us at Heritage Dental Hygiene for your next Dental Hygiene oral cancer examination.