Do you believe that you have oral cancer? Well, that may or may not be the case. Of course, if you're unsure, it is never a mistake to visit your dentist to have your oral health checked out. It is always better to be safe than sorry! However, having some prior knowledge about oral cancer will greatly help you to catch the issue before it gets worse, and it can also help you prevent it from happening at all.
So, with that in mind, let's talk about the causes and symptoms of cancer to help you understand oral cancer a little bit more:
The Causes of Oral Cancer
Although there isn't just one cause of oral cancer, certain things can increase your risk of developing it. Fortunately, many causes can also mean the answer to your problem, as stopping bad habits like smoking (a common cause of oral cancer) can reduce your risk of having it.
The following is just some of the many causes of oral cancer:
Oral cancer is less common than lung cancer, but it is still a leading cause of head and neck cancer. If you are a smoker or have smoked in the past, then you have a much greater chance of developing oral cancer.
In fact, the use of smokeless tobacco puts you at 50 times more risk of developing oral cancer. This is compared to the 21-fold risk associated with cigarette smoking.
2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
If you are an alcoholic, then that can lead to many health problems. In the case of oral cancer, it can make you more susceptible to developing the disease.
Specifically, oral cancer is associated with heavy alcohol consumption. If you regularly drink more than five alcoholic beverages per day, then you are at risk of developing it.
3. Your Family History
If someone in your family has had oral cancer, then that increases your risk. For example, if you have a brother or sister who has had oral cancer, then your risk is doubled. If both of your parents have had it, then there is a 25% chance that you'll have it, as well.
The Symptoms Of Oral Cancer
In most cases, oral cancer does not have any signs or symptoms. Cancer can develop for many years before you notice anything. However, sometimes it does have some symptoms, and it is important to know what they are.
1. Mouth Sores
One of the most common signs of oral cancer is a mouth sore that does not get better. If you have a mouth sore that lasts more than two weeks and is not the result of an injury, then you should see your dentist.
2. A Lump
In some cases, there may be a lump in the tissue of your mouth. This lump will be right under the tongue, tonsils, or the lining of your mouth.
Even if you do not have any other symptoms, if you do notice a lump in your mouth, then you should see a doctor immediately.
3. A Change In Taste
A change in your taste can be a sign that something is wrong. Normally, there is a small amount of metallic taste in your saliva. However, if that taste intensifies, then you may have mouth or throat cancer.
Oral cancer is a serious disease and should never be treated lightly. Fortunately, the majority of people who have it survive it. The key to doing so is catching it early and getting it treated right away. So, whether you think you have oral cancer or think someone you know has it, a visit to the dentist is vital. The key to addressing the problem is tackling it early, so be sure not to delay this!
Dental House MI is a dental practice in Ann Arbor, offering various dental services, including dentures, oral surgery, and more. If you are looking for affordable dentistry that can help screen for oral cancer, get in touch with us right away!