Posts for: June, 2012

By Dental Dimensions
June 15, 2012
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Oral Cancer  

Oral CancerOral cancer — which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheek, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat — can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early.

Because changes in the mouth can be easily seen, oral cancer can be detected in its early stages. The following symptoms should be monitored closely:

  • A sore, lump, rough spot or thick patch anywhere in the mouth, throat or on the lips
  • A sore that doesn’t heal or bleeds easily
  • Change in color of your oral tissues
  • Pain or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together
  • Swollen jaw
  • Significant weight loss


While these symptoms may indicate less serious health issues, it is important to visit The Dental Dimensions if you experience any of them for more than a few weeks.

Risk Factors
According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. Risk factors include:

  • Tobacco use. Smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancers; and use of smokeless tobacco increases the risk of cancers of the cheek, gums and lining of the lips
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol. Oral cancers are approximately six times more prevalent in drinkers than in non-drinkers
  • Family history of cancer
  • Excessive exposure to the sun


While these risk factors are often associated with oral cancer, many people who have no known risk factors also develop oral cancer and should still take preventative measures.

Prevention
You can take an active role in preventing and detecting oral cancer.

  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Limit sun exposure and wear protective lotions, remembering to apply it to the lips
  • Conduct a self-exam at least once a month
  • Visit The Dental Dimensions for regular check-ups and cleanings. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every three years for people over age 20 and annually for those over age 40


Remember, spots and sores in your mouth aren’t always cancerous, but should be examined and monitored closely. Call our San Jose office immediately if you notice any changes in the appearance of your oral tissues or experience symptoms mentioned above. Like many cancers, identifying the cancer early is the key to successful treatment.




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The Dental Dimensions

South San Jose, CA Dentist
The Dental Dimensions
5710 Cahalan Avenue, Suite 3
San Jose, CA 95123
(408) 225-6815
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West San Jose / Cupertino, CA Dentist
The Dental Dimensions
20445 Prospect Road, Suite 3
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 252-3212
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