Cancer is the disorderly, uncontrollable growth of the cells, which compromises the nutrition and damages the surrounding healthy cells. Oral cancer includes the cancer of the following parts:
- Cancer of the lip
- Cancer of the tongue – anterior two-thirds of the tongue
- Cancer of the hard palate
- Cancer of the mucosa of the oral cavity
- Cancer of the floor of the mouth
- Cancer of upper alveolar ridge
- Cancer of lower alveolar ridge
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Symptoms of oral cancer include:
- The appearance of ulcers, crusts, nodules in the mouth. Swelling and thickening of the inner lining of the mouth also can be an indication of oral cancer.
- Development of white and red patches in the oral cavity. The patches can be premalignant lesions.
- Unexplained bleeding
- Difficulty in swallowing, speaking, chewing, and moving the jaw or tongue may point to the development of oral cancer.
- Tenderness, numbness, soreness, and loss of feeling in the mouth, face or neck.
- Unexpected and sudden weight loss
- Sudden hoarseness is the patient’s voice
What causes oral cancer?
The key causes that can lead to the development of oral cancer are:
Smoking: Smoking increases the likelihood of developing oral cancer by six times. It is one of the most common causes of oral cancer.
Tobacco: Chewing powdered tobacco mixed with lime and keeping the tobacco for a prolonged period of time in the vestibule, dip, snuff etc. Increase the risk.
Alcohol:it increases the cancer of the upper aero digestive tract by six times.
Dietary deficiencies: Persons with iron deficiency anaemia are at an increased risk of developing cancer
Dental sepsis:Ill-fitting dentures and sharp tooth which continuously traumatize and irritate the oral mucosa increase the risk of oral cancer.
Genetics: Studies have linked genetics to the development of cancer in patients. Individuals with a family history of cancer are at a higher risk of developing the condition.
Oral cancer can be prevented by eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, tobacco chewing and drinking alcohol. Good oral hygiene should be maintained. Conducting a self-examination at least once a month using a bright light and mirror is recommended to spot the early symptoms of oral cancer. Any suspicious lesion should be reported to the dentist.
What is the oral cancer screening procedure?
Detection of oral cancer at the early stages can help in the effective treatment of the diseases. Oral cancer screening is a comprehensive procedure conducted to identify the symptoms of cancer in the mouth, neck, and head region in the early stages. Oral cancer screening is a procedure carried out by a dentist to look for signs and symptoms of oral cancer or precancerous lesions in the oral cavity. This may be supplemented by further investigations to correctly identify the root cause of the symptoms.
Generally, the mouth is rinsed with a special dye that makes the abnormal cells stand out. The extraoral structures like face, eyes, ear and nose, neck, thyroid gland, and the lips are examined during the procedure. Intraoral structures like buccal mucosa, tongue, the floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate and tonsils are also thoroughly examined.
Post the completion of the visual examination, a physical test which involves feeling for nodules in the neck, head and around the jaw and chin is conducted. The dentist closely observes the patient for immobility in the jaw, tongue or any other tissue in the head region. Sample cells and tissues from suspicious lesions are sent for biopsy and histopathological examination to confirm whether they are malignant or benign.
We, at Bliss Dentistry of Campbell, California, cater to all your needs pertaining to dental services and routine exams. Our Campbell dentists with their entire team persevere to provide you with exceptional treatment that enhances and maintains the beauty of your smile. If you have any further question, queries or dental emergencies and are looking for an experienced dentist in the South Bay Area, feel free to contact us at (408) 963-6678 to schedule an appointment.