Oral cancer, also sometimes referred to as ‘mouth cancer,’ can attack the lips, gums, tongue, lining of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, or floor of the mouth. This disease can affect a person at any age, regardless of their lifestyle choices or habits. Many people are unfamiliar with the symptoms, which can lead to a late diagnosis and complications with treatment.
Making regular appointments with our dentists in Fort Worth can help identify suspicious symptoms before the condition advances. We perform a visual exam of each patient’s mouth during standard visits and can also schedule oral cancer screenings for those at-risk or experiencing symptoms.
Knowing the signs of oral cancer’s early stages can help you identify and respond accordingly. Here are some of the symptoms a person with oral cancer might experience:
Mouth or ear pain
Difficult or painful swallowing
A white or reddish patch inside the mouth
A lip or mouth sore that will not heal
A growth or lump inside the mouth
If you are experiencing any of these issues, it’s important that you seek out the help of a trained dentist in Fort Worth immediately.
Reducing Your Risk
While it is possible to develop oral cancer at any age, those over the age of 45 are generally considered to be at greater risk. Certain lifestyle factors can also heighten a person’s odds of developing oral cancer. In order to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and limit (or eliminate) the habits that may hurt you long-term.
Below are some of the most commonly discussed risk factors and suggestions on how you can take charge to limit your risk.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Caring for your smile on a daily basis as recommended by our dentist in Fort Worth can help you maintain your oral health. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. Booking regular appointments with our office gives us an opportunity to professionally clean your teeth and examine your gums, tongue, cheeks, and throat for signs of abnormal cells.
Excessive Sun Exposure
In addition to increasing your risk of skin cancer, spending excessive time in the sun can also contribute to the development of oral cancer. Protecting your skin and smile with sun-blocking tools such as wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, and SPF-enhanced lip balm can help limit your exposure to harmful UV rays.
Drinking, Smoking, and Smokeless Tobacco Products
Excessive drinking, smoking, and the use of smokeless tobacco products have all been identified as major contributing factors in cases of oral cancer. While these habits can be difficult to break, the benefits of cutting back or quitting completely can’t be understated. Reducing your use of these products can lower your risk of developing oral cancer while providing other health benefits simultaneously.
Visit Our Dentist in Fort Worth
Our office is proud to provide oral cancer screenings to patients of all ages. If you’re a new patient or looking to book a follow-up appointment, please contact us to schedule your visit.