Thousands of people are diagnosed with oral cancer in Canada each year. However it can usually be treated successfully if caught early enough. The best way to detect early signs of oral cancer is by visiting our Georgetown dental office for routine visits. As part of your oral exam your dentist and registered dental hygienist will look for signs of oral cancer and discuss risk factors with you.
Signs of Oral Cancer include:
- White or dark red patches in your mouth, or on your lips or tongue.
- Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of the mouth tissues.
- Bleeding or numbness in the mouth; sores or patches that do not heal.
- Difficulty swallowing; changes in taste or tongue sensation.
Risk factors for Oral Cancer include:
- Consumption of tobacco products (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, etc).
- Heavy alcohol consumption (It is especially dangerous to combine smoking and alcohol.)
- Oral sex
- Prolonged, repeated exposure of the lips to the sun.
- Poor diet; genetics and gender (more men develop the disease than women.)
- A history of leukoplakia – a thick, whitish-colour patch inside the mouth.
(Courtesy of the Canadian Dental Association)