Oral Cancer

There are more than 30,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year. As with any form of cancer, the sooner the disease is diagnosed, the higher the chances are of beating it. Regular visits to the dentist are your first line of defense against oral cancer. At Dental Brothers, we will check for growths or sores on the lips, tongue, the inside of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth and in the back of the throat.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

There are several symptoms of mouth cancer. The most common symptoms include:

  • Lumps, bumps, rough spots, crust, and an erosion of the gum, lips or inside of the mouth
  • White, red, or speckled patches inside of the mouth
  • Bleeding in the mouth for no obvious reason
  • Pain, numbness, or loss of feeling in the face, neck and mouth
  • Sores on the face, mouth and/or neck which do not heal within two weeks and bleed easily
  • Persistent sore throat
  • A feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty moving the tongue and jaw
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing and speaking
  • Change in voice
  • Hoarseness
  • Shifting of teeth
  • Change in the way dentures fit
  • Ear pain
  • Weight loss

What are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?

There are several risk factors for developing oral cancer.

  • People who smoke cigarettes, cigars and pipes are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who do not
  • People who use smokeless tobacco, including dip, snuff and chewing tobacco are five times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who do not use these products
  • People who drink alcohol excessively are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than people who do not consume alcohol
  • A family history of cancer
  • Excessive exposure to the sun

Diagnosing Oral Cancer

If a dentist detects a mass or lesion in the mouth, it would be biopsied with an oral brush. The brush would take a sample of the tissue, and it would be analyzed for any abnormal, cancerous cells. In some cases, if the lesion or mass looks especially suspicious, a scalpel biopsy would be necessary. This would require a local anesthesia.

Prognoses for Patients With Oral Cancer

1 year survival rate: 81%

5 year survival rate: 56%

10 year survival rate: 41%

Maintain your oral health during COVID-19, visit our practice today!

Dental Brothers in Mesa

Call 480-664-1449

Dental Brothers in Phoenix

Call 602-993-0670

If left undetected, oral cancer can be very deadly. The best defense against oral cancer is living a healthy lifestyle and to see the dentist on a regular basis. At Dental Brothers, we examine our patients for possible cancer symptoms at every visit. Contact us to schedule your next checkup.