According to research at the World Health Organization (WHO) WHO studies, oral (mouth) cancer is one of the 8 deadliest diseases all over the globe. Poor oral hygiene, ultraviolet exposure on the lips from the sun, or sunbeds, genetic predisposition, cancer-causing foods, stress, tobacco and alcohol consumption are among risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing oral cancer.
Denture wear may cause bruises and wounds on soft tissues. Especially, patients who have worn removable dentures for a long time or who have a white or red patch and non-healing wounds inside their mouths are at risk for oral cancer. Compared to females, males aged 45 years and over are mostly affected by oral cancer.
When oral cancer is detected early, it can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
A biopsy of the oral soft tissues will allow early diagnosis of potentially malignant oral lesions and monitoring of existing lesions.
Any lesions that do not heal within 14 days may be oral cancer. If you have a new lesion, see your dentist immediately. A biopsy is recommended for suspicious lesions of the oral cavity.
Radiologic evaluation may also be necessary to detect disease in an early stage and whether or not it has affected the jaw bone. For a precise diagnosis, the patient’s mandible is scanned by dental volumetric tomography (DVT).
If you notice any of the following changes in your mouth, notify your dentist as immediate as possible;
- Lesions/sores on your lips, gums, or your mouth that are susceptible to easy bleeding and do not heal quickly
- Thickening or swelling of the cheek that can be felt with the tongue
- Numbness of the tongue or elsewhere in the mouth
- White or red patches on the gum, tongue or elsewhere in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Inexplicable pain or discomfort in your mouth or a feeling as if something is stuck in your throat
- Jaw swelling that causes ill-fitting dentures
- Voice changes
You may not always detect the early signs of oral cancer. Therefore, it is essential that you visit your dentist regularly.
With routine comprehensive oral examinations, specialized dentists at our clinics are able to diagnose the early signs of oral cancer and provide a timely and appropriate treatment, thus saving lives or reducing suffering.
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF ORAL CANCER
- Avoid tobacco and pipe smoking
- Do not drink too much alcohol
- People who use both tobacco and alcohol products have a 15 times greater risk of developing oral cancer than others
- Make fruit and vegetables an important part of your daily diet (research shows that a healthy diet can reduce your risk for developing oral cancer)
- Visit your dentist regularly.