Understanding the Risk Factors and Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

The human body is a complex yet beautiful system. The cells, known as the building blocks of the body, work tirelessly in maintaining the tissues and organs. If there is a problem with the cells, malignant tumors form and destroy the healthy tissues. It can also lead to the metastasization of the diseased cells to the body; an occurrence referred to as cancer.

Oral cancer, a type of head and neck cancer, also starts with malignant cell growth in the oral cavity. The most common areas that oral cancer affects are the tongue, lips, lower jaw, insides of the cheek, palate, and the floor of the mouth. As many people already know, oral cancer is not something that can be ignored. But despite the severity of the disease, it is treatable. That is if the patient takes advantage of oral cancer screening. With the help of the said service, dental professionals can monitor, diagnose, and recommend the necessary procedures to keep the devastating condition from advancing.

oral cancer screening

What are the risk factors of oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a complex process that involves both genetic and environmental risk factors. Tobacco products and the consumption of alcohol are both independent risk factors of oral cancer. Most cases of the devastating oral cancer are linked to the use of tobacco and alcohol consumption. But, the practice that causes a person to have a higher risk is the use of both substances previously mentioned. Conditions that affect the immune system, such as HPV and HIV, may trigger the development of oral malignancy. UV ray exposure is also a risk factor for lip cancer.

What are the warning signs of oral cancer?

  • Mouth sores that bleed easily and do not heal
  • Red and white patches inside the mouth
  • A decline in the person’s ability to perform normal mouth functions such as the opening of the jaw, chewing or swallowing
  • Tender and painful gums or teeth
  • Changes in the oral tissues that affect the fit of dentures
  • Swelling and fullness in the neck
  • Strange lumps in the floor of the mouth, throat, or neck
  • Visible changes in the oral tissue
  • Unpleasant sensations such as pain, numbness, and discomfort

Early detection of oral cancer can save lives. If you exhibit some of the symptoms listed above, we at Greenbelt Dental Associates propose an Oral Cancer Screening in Greenbelt, MD! Visit us at 7500 Greenway Center Dr. #120, Greenbelt, MD 20770 to take advantage of the said service.