Oral Cancer Screenings
The mouth’s interior is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that’s smooth and coral pink in color. Any changes in how this skin looks could be a warning sign for a pathological process, the most serious of which is oral cancer.
The following can all be signs of a pathology or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
- A sore that bleeds easily and doesn’t heal
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain doesn’t always occur and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain that doesn’t have an obvious cause may be at risk for oral cancer.
We recommend an oral cancer self-examination every month. And remember: Your mouth is one of your body's most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Instead, please contact our dental office so we may help.
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