How To Check For Oral Cancer
Self-reliance seems like an understated value these days.
Oh sure, sometimes everybody needs a little bit of help. And we can’t be expected to chase criminals and put out fires; that’s what police officers and firefighters are for, after all.
What I’m talking about is personal responsibility. And when it comes to keeping your smile from potentially killing you, well, you probably haven’t been as vigilant as you should.
Yes, your smile can kill you – or, more accurately, what’s hiding in your smile can kill you.
For an example, take gum disease. It has plenty of symptoms to let you know that it is there, disrupting the the natural harmony of your teeth. But once that gum disease develops into full-blown periodontitis, and the bacteria which causes literally burrows deep into the tissues of your smile, then you are at a greater risk for developing a number of life-threatening illnesses, including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, just to name a few.
But all the while, and long before that gum disease got out of control, there was plenty of writing on the wall for you to take notice and do something to treat it before something bad happens. The same is especially true for oral cancers, which comprise the bulk of all head and neck cancers diagnosed in the United States: Oral cancer is so deadly precisely because it isn’t detected early enough in its “life cycle.”
So in the interest of promoting good health on behalf of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, let’s get ready to run-down the tell-tale signs of oral cancer. This knowledge just could save your life!
Oral Cancer: What To Look For
Like most diseases, oral cancer can give you a number of clues that it has taken up residence inside of your smile.
But because the vast majority of oral cancer diagnoses in the United States are made too late for treatment to be effective, I want to focus on the early warning signs of oral cancer so that, should you recognize one or more of these symptoms, you can call your Eugene dentist in order to get the treatment before time runs out.
Before we get started, I want to stress that there is no substitute for a professional dental examination like that kind I can give you, so think of the following checklist as a list of reasons to make your appointment so that I can get to the bottom of things and set you toward a path of successful treatment.
Since it’s hard to see inside of your mouth without the right kind of equipment, make sure you are in a well lit area with access to a mirror (e.g. your bathroom) and be on the lookout for any of the following symptoms:
- Swelling of any kind, but particularly lumps or sores inside or around your mouth.
- White or red-colored lesions, or oddly shaped bumps, located on your mouth or your lips.
- Lingering sore throat, or the constant feeling of something stuck in your throat.
- Acute numbness or pain anywhere in your mouth, including the tongue and lips.
- Loose, potentially shifting teeth without signs of gum disease or oral injury.
- Constant hoarseness in your voice
- Difficulty using the full range of motion in your jaw, including discomfort when swallowing or speaking.
If any of these sound familiar to you, whether from personal experience or complaints made by a loved one, then you have no time to spare.
I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, but any combination of the above symptoms means that you or a loved one could already be suffering from oral cancer without even knowing it.
The earlier a dentist in Oregon can professionally examine these symptoms, then the greater your chances of winning the war against oral cancer become. There’s simply no room for failure, because when it comes to oral cancer, failure can mean death.
Prevention Is Your Best Solution
I want you to perform this checklist on yourself, or share it with a loved one if they smoke or drink excessively (two factors which greatly increases their risk of developing oral cancer).
If any of these red flags are present, then you must give me a call at 458-205-5189 or request an appointment online by clicking here, and you must do so right away.
Every moment matters when it comes to fighting oral cancer, but the only person who can save your life is you, so don’t let yourself down!
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