Mouth and Throat Cancer

During every comprehensive oral exam, our dentists conduct a visual and physical examination of your mouth, including gums, tongue, cheeks and throat. This examination serves as a basic screening for oral cancers of the mouth, throat and lips.

Oral Cancer: Signs and Symptoms

Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells. These cells, once they begin growing rapidly, spread and damage surrounding cells. Oral cancers account for about 5 percent of all cancers. While it is not a commonly occurring cancer, it can be deadly, and early detection and treatment are key to survival. If caught early, the Stage I survival rate is between 80 and 85 percent.

Oral cancer affects men at a higher rate than women, with men over 50 years of age being most at risk. Those of either gender who smoke or use tobacco or marijuana products, consume excessive amounts of alcohol or have a family history of cancer are at a greater risk than those who do not. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is the same virus that causes cervical cancer, has been detected in one-third of those with oral cancer. While these things do place an individual at greater risk, it is important to remember that oral cancer can be found in anyone.

When conducting an oral examination, our dentists are looking for any of the following signs:

  • Unusual white or red patches in the mouth
  • Areas that are rough, thick, swollen or scaly
  • Areas that are numb or painful to the touch
  • Sores that will not heal
  • Lumps in the neck

Our dentist may also ask you about any difficulties you have had chewing or swallowing, or any persistent problems you have had with your voice. These can also be signs of throat cancer.

Oral Cancer: Treatments

Our office will provide you with an appropriate referral for a biopsy if needed. Oral cancer can be successfully treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.

At Feels Like Family Dentistry, your overall health is our paramount concern. Bi-annual, comprehensive cleanings and examinations are your best defense against oral diseases, such as periodontal disease and oral cancers. If you are ready to schedule your examination, contact our office today.

The whole staff was so friendly and inviting. A real comfortable atmosphere. And the dentist and hygienist did an amazing job on my teeth. I got my smile back and thank you for that.

Mariea B., patient since 2016