Oral cancer is defined as a type of cancer which develops in the tissues of the throat or mouth. There are multiple locations in which it can form, including in the lining of the gums, roof of the mouth, cheeks, tongue, and even lips.
While treatment is available, early detection is critical to surviving oral cancer. Unfortunately, in many cases, this type of disease is discovered too late –once it has spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Here at Adelaide Dental we conduct thorough checks while treating your teeth and are quick to pick up any abnormalities but there are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing cancer.
Risk Factors of oral cancer
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that tobacco use can significantly tip the scales of oral cancer. Whether you are using pipes, cigars, or cigarettes, you are inadvertently increasing the risks. Similarly, smokeless tobacco (i.e., dip or chew) can also increase the odds of developing cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Research has proven, time and time again, that an infection with HPV increases the danger of oral cancer. In fact, individual studies have shown that the virus causes a staggering 72% of all throat cancers. Transmitted through sexual skin-to-skin contact, it’s essential always to protect yourself against HPV.
The advice “be safe in the sun” does apply to oral cancer as well, since sun rays touch your lips. The best course of action is to use a sunscreen coloured lipstick that has a high SPF protection level.
Diagnosis of oral cancer
By allowing our Adelaide Dental team to perform regular check-ups, you can have peace of mind about your oral and dental hygiene. Should we discover anything suspicious on your tongue or mouth, we will promptly conduct further analysis –while keeping you in the loop.
Biopsies are an excellent way of determining mouth abnormalities, removing small amounts of tissue and sending them to a pathology lab to be examined. Further tests can include endoscopies, dental x-rays, or alternative imaging methods to determine the onset of the disease.
If at any point you feel troubled by abnormalities in your mouth or throat, our Adelaide Dental team can help you through your anxiety. Our dentistry techniques are continually evolving, and we offer new treatment methods with patient safety and comfort in mind.