Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Many of the signs connected to oral cancer might be confused with those of other health problems such as toothaches. In general, if symptoms persist for several weeks, you’ll need to see the dentist as soon as possible for oral cancer screening in Bonita Springs, FL.
Common oral cancer symptoms include:
- Persistent mouth pain or sores that don’t go away
- Lumps in the cheek
- Red and white patches that can form on the gums, tongue, tonsil or inner lining of the mouth
- Feeling like something’s caught in the throat
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing or moving your jaw and tongue
- Jaw swelling
- Loosening of the teeth
- Weight loss
- Halitosis (bad breath)
What Dentists Look for During Oral Cancer Screenings
Your dentist will be looking for the physical signs of oral cancer so that they can be addressed as soon as possible. This includes any asymmetries, swellings, bumps, patches of colors, or ulcerations as well as other problems with the mouth, neck, lips, and face.
If we find signs of oral cancer, we can direct you to a specialist who can confirm the diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment based on how advanced the condition is. The earlier it’s caught, the better chance there is of getting a favorable 5-year prognosis.
What To Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
The first step is a physical exam that can take place while you’re sitting upright or laying down. You’ll be asked to remove any oral appliances you’re wearing before one of our dentists examines your mouth with a light and mirror. Like your general doctor, we may also use a tongue depressor to get a look at the back of your throat. There are other tools we can use to ensure a thorough, effective examination.
The dentist will then touch your head and cheeks, around your jaw, under your chin and in your oral cavity to see if they can feel any unusual masses. We may ask if this causes discomfort, as that could signal a problem with tissue mobility; you might also be asked to swallow.
Have you had an oral cancer screening along with a regular dental checkup in the past six months? If not, then now’s a perfect time to contact Pelican Landing Dental and set up an appointment!