April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Oral cancer affects many people, and identifying oral cancer early is imperative for successful treatment. Your regular cleanings and dental check-ups in Chesapeake, Virginia with Dr. John Cranham are a great way to help identify oral cancer early.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer affects many parts of your mouth, including lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, roof of your mouth and the floor of your mouth. At first, some of the common symptoms of oral cancer may not seem important, or you may mistake them for something else. Routine check-ups with your dentist are important because you dentist office in Chesapeake, Virginia can identify symptoms of oral cancer quickly. Common symptoms of oral cancer include:
•Red, white or mixed patches inside your mouth
•Loose teeth not caused by injury or another problem
•A lump in your neck or the feeling of something stuck in your throat
•A sore in your mouth that will not heal
•Bleeding of the mouth for no apparent reason
•Dentures do not fit normally
How Dentists Check for Oral Cancer
If you suspect you have oral cancer, your dentist is able to help determine if you are correct. Dr. Cranham does this by examining your mouth and lips. He is also able to have a biopsy to test the tissue and look for cancerous cells. However, Dr. Cranham is also able to check for oral cancer in the early stages, before you realize anything is wrong. Normal exams are crucial for identifying oral cancer in the early stages. Dr. Cranham is able to look for any sores, patches or other symptoms of oral cancer. It is so important to see your doctor on a routine basis and avoid putting off regular cleanings.
Treatment of Oral Cancer
Treatment for oral cancer must start immediately for the best results. Surgery is usually needed to remove the affected tissue. Sometimes, reconstructive surgery is also required to repair the mouth. Radiation and chemotherapy are used to help kill the cancer cells. It is also important to stop using tobacco, if you do. Tobacco significantly increases the risk of oral cancer, so stopping is your best option. Alcohol also increases the risk of oral cancer. Quitting drinking is also good to help with oral cancer treatment.
Oral cancer is a serious condition that affects many people. Routine check-ups from your general dentist in Chesapeake, Virginia are a great way to identify oral cancer before it progresses. If you are concerned about oral cancer or just want to ensure a healthy, beautiful smile, contact us today to find out what Dr. Cranham and our professional staff can do for you.