Oral cancer is an abnormal cell growth that proliferates and causes damage and destruction to tissues in your mouth including on your lips, tongue, cheeks, palate areas, throat, and sinus areas. With early detection, oral cancer can be treated more readily and increase your chance of life expectancy. That is why Dr. Jacqueline Subka performs oral cancer screenings in Thousand Oaks, CA at her dental practice.
Symptoms of oral cancer can include:
• Unexplained chronic hoarseness, sore throat, and ear pain
• Swelling, bumps, rough areas, and red or white discolorations in the mouth
• Unexplained numbness, oral bleeding, or soreness in the head, mouth, or neck
• Any sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not go away within two weeks
While tobacco users, heavy alcohol users, and carriers of the HPV virus are at high risk of developing oral cancer, everyone should be screened regularly. As part of a proactive oral health practice, every dentist should perform an oral cancer screening at your dental cleaning exam to check for any lumps in your neck, head, and mouth. It should also include a mouth exam to check for any unusual sores or tissue discolorations.
It is important to do your own oral cancer exams in between dental visits. In your self-exam, look for any unusual discoloration, swelling, lumps or bumps on the floor and roof of your mouth as well as the back of your throat. Then check out the inside of your cheeks and lips. Make sure to grab your tongue with gauze or a washcloth to be able to fully examine your tongue and the floor of your mouth.
Regular dental care and exams can go a long way towards excellent dental health and detection of an issue at the earliest time possible. Feel free to call Dr. Subka’s office with any concerns regarding your dental health.