Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 22-03-2022
An oral cancer diagnosis is scary. Early oral cancer screening in Milton can help detect signs of oral cancer and enhance your chances of living a long, healthy, cancer-free life.
Oral cancer is a cancer of the mouth. It can appear in various locations in and around the mouth, including:
- Roof or Floor
Most oral cancer begins as squamous cell carcinoma as thin cells around the lips. If you detect any early signs of cancer, it’s important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Milltown Dental offers oral cancer screening in Milton for a proactive approach to oral cancer prevention.
Sometimes signs of oral cancer are confusing. Here, we’ll discuss six common signs and symptoms to make it easier to determine if booking oral cancer screening in Milton is the right step for you.
1. Lip sores that don’t heal
Sometimes sores appear on the lips and mouth for reasons other than cancer, including:
- Cold Sore
- Bug Bite
- Canker Sore
A sore alone is no reason to panic about a potential oral cancer diagnosis. However, if the sore doesn’t appear to get better or it begins to worsen, it’s time to visit a doctor.
Non-healing mouth sores are a common sign of oral cancer. The sore may appear on your lips or inside your mouth.
2. Losing teeth
Like mouth sores, you might lose teeth for a variety of reasons, including:
- Naturally, as you age
- Poor oral hygiene
Losing teeth is never a good sign, especially if there’s no apparent cause. If you lose a tooth or teeth, see your dentist for an oral cancer screening in Milton as soon as possible.
Studies show that losing teeth is associated with several types of cancer, not just oral cancer. Losing teeth could be linked to:
- Gastric cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Head cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Hematopoietic cancer
If you practice proper hygiene and have not suffered any injury or illness, take any tooth loss seriously and see a medical practitioner.
3. A lump in the mouth
If you feel a lump or swelling tissue in your mouth, it could be that you’ve simply bit your cheek. It could also be a sign of oral cancer. One of the most common signs of oral cancer is a lump or thickening of tissue in the cheeks, gums, or inside the lips.
Cancerous mouth lumps tend to be white or red, patchy or speckled, and appear velvet-like in texture.
4. Discolored patches in your mouth
Sometimes patches of red or white inside your mouth don’t present as lumps or raised tissue at all. If you notice discoloured patches in your mouth, have them inspected by a doctor. Because the cells that begin many oral cancer symptoms are flat and thin, the early signs can be difficult to detect.
A good practice for early oral cancer detection is checking your mouth for visual signs when brushing and flossing. Have a look once a week to make sure your lips, gums, and cheeks look healthy.
5. Pain or numbness in your mouth or throat
Depending on how oral cancer impacts your mouth, it could make swallowing or speaking painful and difficult. Mouth pain is a common sign of oral cancer. Numbness is another sign of oral cancer. Both of these symptoms can impede swallowing.
Sometimes a sore mouth or throat is misdiagnosed as early cold symptoms. If your soreness doesn’t recede, or you notice no other cold symptoms emerging, ask your doctor or dentist to take a closer look.
Oral cancer numbness may feel like something is caught in your throat that can’t be cleared. This could be a lump or thickened tissue you can’t see because it’s further back in your mouth. The tissue may be painful, numb, or leave no extra sensation.
6. Oral bleeding
Bleeding when you brush or floss could signify that you’re not brushing or flossing enough — or that you’re brushing or flossing too roughly. Bleeding could also be a sign of oral cancer, especially if there is no related trauma or damage to your teeth or gums to account for blood.
Any oral bleeding is a sign that something is wrong and should be attended to immediately. Take oral bleeding seriously, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Preventing Oral Cancer
Sometimes cancer is unpreventable. Cancer might occur due to genetics and predisposition. It may also occur due to life choices. To keep your mouth healthy, prevent oral cancer by:
- Regularly attending 6-month dental checkups and cleanings
- Eating natural foods, including fruits and vegetables
- Exercising regularly
- Using sunscreen and covering up in the sun
- Using UV protective lip balms
- Avoiding smoking
- Limiting alcoholic beverages
- Scheduling an early oral cancer screening in Milton
At Milltown Dental, we offer early oral cancer screenings in Milton as a step toward the detection of oral cancer but also as a step in oral cancer prevention. Your dentist spends a lot of time in your mouth. Our eyes are trained to spot inconsistencies and small signs a patient might miss during daily brushings.
Whether you’ve noticed oral cancer symptoms or simply want to err on the side of caution, an oral cancer screening in Milton is recommended once a year.
Contact Milltown Dental Today
Interested in learning more about oral cancer symptoms, oral cancer screening in Milton, and our approach to oral cancer prevention? We invite you to contact Milltown Dental today. Our experienced dentists work closely with families across Milton, Ontario, for various dental needs.
Our patients must have all the information to stay one step ahead of oral cancer and other oral illnesses. Call 1-833-318-3281 to schedule a screening or chat with a team member. You can also visit us online and fill out our simple online contact form to get in touch.