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The Truths And Ciphers Of Oral Cancer

Posted on 11/15/2023 by Kenneth D. Parrish, DMD, PhD
Image of a woman touching her cheek that could have oral cancer. Oral cancer is a blanket term for all cancers that develop in the mouth. It could occur either on the gums, the inner lining of the cheeks, on or under the tongue, lips, throat, and the roof of the mouth. Understanding the signs of oral cancer helps one seek immediate medical intervention.

Indicators of oral cancer

The common indicators of oral cancer are; sores that fail to heal, tingling in the mouth, loose teeth, pain in the oral cavity, difficulty in swallowing, swelling in the jaw, patches inside the mouth, and growth or lump inside the mouth. If you notice any of the above symptoms persistently, then you need to make an appointment with our doctors as soon as possible.

Origins and causes of oral cancer

Mouth cancer comes about when cells in the mouth or on the lips mutate. Cells contain DNA that responds to instructions. Mutations cause the change in these instructions so that instead of ceasing to grow, they divide and continue growing at an absurd rate. This abnormal cell accumulation results in tumors that could spread to the mouth, neck, and other parts of the head.

The most common cause of oral cancer is tobacco use. Regardless of the inhalation method, smoking contains tar and other nicotine substances that facilitate the onset of cancer. Alcohol consumption is another risk factor, especially for heavy drinkers. A weakened immune system increases the activation of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which accounts for a percentage of the causes of oral cancer.

One of the reasons why dentists insist on regular dental checkups is so that they can detect the onset of oral cancer while at the early stages. Early detection increases the success rates of treatment and could avoid many cases of death. Besides dental checkups, quitting smoking and taking alcohol can help guard against oral cancer. Depending on the severity of the cancer, it can be treated either by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Be sure to schedule annual dental checkups with our doctors today.
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