June 24, 2024

Early detection of oral cancer significantly increases the chances of successful treatment. Regular visits to your dentist on Glen Ave. in IL are vital, as they are trained to identify early signs of this potentially life-threatening condition. By knowing what to look for and understanding the importance of routine dental check-ups, you can take proactive steps towards safeguarding your oral health.

Dentist glen ave IL discussing with patient

What is Oral Cancer?  

Oral cancer develops in any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat. It can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. Regular dental visits are essential because your dentist can spot early signs you might miss.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer, including:

  • Tobacco Use: Smoking and using smokeless tobacco are the most significant risk factors.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Heavy alcohol use increases the risk, especially when combined with tobacco use.
  • Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to the sun can increase the risk of lip cancer.
  • Age: Oral cancer is more common in people over the age of 40.
  • Diet: A diet low in fruits and vegetables can increase the risk.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

  • Unexplained Sores

One of the most common signs of oral cancer is a sore or ulcer in the mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks. These sores can be persistent and may not respond to typical treatments. If you notice a sore that lingers, it’s important to have it evaluated by your dentist.

  • Red or White Patches

Red or white patches on the gums, tongue, tonsils, or lining of the mouth can be an early indication of oral cancer. While not all patches are cancerous, those that do not heal or change in appearance should be examined by a dentist.

  • Lumps and Thickening

A lump, bump, or area of thickening in the mouth or throat can be a warning sign. These abnormalities can be painless but should not be ignored. Regular dental exams can help identify these changes early.

  • Difficulty Swallowing or Chewing

Oral cancer can cause difficulty in swallowing, chewing, or moving the jaw or tongue. This can be due to the growth of a tumor in the mouth or throat, which can obstruct normal functions. If you experience persistent difficulty, it’s crucial to seek a dental evaluation.

  • Persistent Sore Throat or Hoarseness

A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that doesn’t go away can be a symptom of oral cancer, particularly if it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as lumps or sores in the mouth. These symptoms should be reported to your dentist for further investigation.

The Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups

  • Early Detection

Routine dental check-ups are essential for the early detection of oral cancer. Dentists have the expertise to identify the subtle signs and symptoms that may suggest the presence of cancer. Detecting cancer early greatly enhances the likelihood of successful treatment and can save lives.

  • Comprehensive Oral Examination

During a routine dental visit, your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination, looking for any abnormalities in the mouth, throat, and neck. This examination includes checking for sores, lumps, patches, and any other changes that could be indicative of oral cancer.

Dentist glen ave IL explaining to patient

Do You Need to See a Dentist on Glen Ave. in IL?

At Smalltown Dental, we are committed to providing thorough oral examinations and personalized care. If you have any concerns about your oral health or need a routine check-up, contact us today. Our experienced team is here to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.  

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