Mouth cancer can occur for a variety of reasons. However, tobacco use is the most common reason for the development of this type of cancer. Using tobacco products, including cigarettes, pipes, and tobacco can increase the chances of mouth cancer. Oral squamous cancer cells can also form from consuming too much alcohol. This risk can be reduced by consuming less alcoholic beverages or abstaining from alcohol altogether. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can also cause cancer of the lips, so it is best to wear a lip balm or gloss that included SPF protection. In some rare cases, the betel nut, which grows on the areca tree in Southeast Asia?
Early Signs of Mouth Cancer
If you or a loved one smoke or have recently stopped smoking, you may be wondering, “what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like?” There are often small white sores on the gums that are an indication of tumor growth. However, another early sign is frequent bleeding in the mouth. The bleeding may occur after flossing or brushing the teeth.
Loose teeth or dentures can also be an early sign. When the gums and bones in the mouth start to rot, the teeth will not be stable. Bad breath that will not go away after frequently brushing or washing the mouth out may mean that the cancer is present. This is because cancer cells give off an odor in the mouth when the cells begin to die, and this could lead to halitosis.
As the disease progresses, trismus can occur. This is when the mouth muscles are affected by cancer, which makes it hard to open and close the mouth over time. The lips and teeth can also become numb the longer cancer is present. Some patients also find that it is hard to swallow; this is primarily due to the growth of cancer cells and the inflammation that comes with the disease.
Mouth Cancer Treatment
Is mouth cancer curable? This largely depends on how far the disease has progressed. The doctor will likely ask patients a series of questions to determine a mouth cancer prognosis. For instance, the dentist or doctor may ask whether the patient has been losing weight or has felt lumps or bumps in their neck or back. Doctors also need to know whether the pain or swelling is constant or comes and goes.
Treatment includes radiation and chemotherapy, which are common treatment methods for many other forms of cancer as well. Imaging therapy and using small cameras to inspect the gums, lips, teeth, and tongue are used to determine how severe the cancer is so that the best treatment can be implemented.
Surgery is an option for mouth cancer treatment as well. The surgery removes the tumors in the mouth to prevent the tumors from growing larger and spreading cancer to other parts of the mouth. There are also surgical options for people whose cancer has moved to the neck. In this case, the surgery focuses on the lymph nodes to remove cancer and prevent it from moving to other sections of the body.
Find Out More
To get more information on treatment options and to be screened for mouth cancer, get in touch with Maiden Lane Dental today. Use our convenient contact form to enter your information and concerns. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will schedule an appointment for you. We can provide oral cancer screening, treatment and consult with you regarding your overall dental health. We are glad to answer your questions and will set up an appointment schedule for you that can provide effective long-term treatment for various dental health issues.
80 Maiden Lane
Financial District, NYC