I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a patient about a sore in their mouth that they were completely unaware of. Everyone gets sores in the mouth, that’s just the nature of the beast. Some hurt, some bleed, some feel like a pimple and some have no symptoms. By knowing yourself, you can help determine when a health professional needs to step in.
Cancer is a major killer in the United States. The Oral Cancer Foundation, www.oralcancerfoundation.org estimates about 49,750 new cases of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. This is up 10% from 10 years ago! Cancer can originate in the mouth or show up in the mouth indicative of cancer elsewhere in the body.
Cancerous lesions occur mostly on the tongue, the floor of the mouth, the lip and the minor salivary glands, but can present itself anywhere. It often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or white and red spot or sore in the mouth. Other signs include:
It is recommended that patients look at their mouths in a mirror daily to check for abnormalities. Although some cancers are asymptomatic until a later stage of cancer, it’s still important to familiarize yourself with how your mouth looks. It also helps being familiar with your health history and any medical conditions.
Routine dental checkups and doctor exams typically include annual cancer screenings, remember to see your dentist often.
After a five year hiatus from going to the dentist my friend Natalie finally made an appointment. She had decided it was time due to sensitivity on the lower right and her teeth weren’t looking as bright as they once did. She for sure thought there was a cavity and was very nervous about going. […]Read More
Late one evening while finishing up at the office, one of my patients stopped by my room to seek some information. She was appointed for some crown work in the near future but didn’t know what kind of crown she was getting. I looked at the chart and told her what the doctor was doing. […]Read More