As your dental health care team, we want to help you be on the lookout for symptoms of abnormal conditions in your mouth. One of the most serious problems we ever encounter is oral cancer, which affects about 37,000 Americans every year. It is a particularly dangerous form of cancer, because it may produce very little discomfort in its beginning stages and go undiagnosed for a long time.
Early diagnosis and detection by having an oral cancer exam by a dentist gives you an 80 % survival chance.
We check your mouth for signs of the disease during each periodic check-up, but you remain the key component in our early detection program.
What should I be looking out for?
- A sore or lesion in the mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth that doesn’t heal or go away in 2 weeks
- A persistent sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, moving jaw or tongue
- Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
- Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
- Chronic hoarseness
What Should I Do If I Have One of the Above Symptoms?
These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, but they also indicate the possible presence of oral cancer. Please contact our office immediately to have Dr. Nguyen examine you.
If you haven’t had your periodic cleaning and examination in over six months, please schedule your appointment today! We’ll be happy to perform an oral cancer screening as part of your visit.