Oral Cancer — Should I Be Worried?

    Heavy drinkers (regularly having over 20 alcoholic beverages each week) are at greater risk of getting oral cancer. Heavy drinking as well as tobacco use dramatically increases your risk of developing oral cancer.
  • HPV
    Also associated with cervical cancer, a type of HPV (the human papilloma virus) has become connected to oral cancer. HPV 16, an STD (sexually transmitted disease), raises your risk of getting oropharyngeal cancers in the tonsils, back of the mouth, and throat.
    Even though the majority of your mouth is protected from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays, your lips aren’t. Routine exposure to sunlight and other sources (for example, tanning beds) may lead to skin cancer on your lips. To prevent skin cancer, use UV protection (like hats and sunscreen). Use lip balms that have SPF 15 to protect your lips.
    A critical portion of a dental exam is your oral cancer screening. At DentalWorks – Crystal Lake, our dental practitioners complete an oral cancer screening on every one of our Crystal Lake, IL patients throughout their examination. In this part of the examination, your dentist will conduct a physical and visual inspection of your throat and mouth to search for signs of oral cancer. Once they have put on a new pair of gloves, then your dentist will begin with assessing areas within your mouth (underneath your tongue, your cheek lining, and the back of your throat) to search for abnormal signs or growths. They’ll also feel your jaw, chin, and neck to look for swelling and lumps. Though a physical and visual examination performed properly is usually sufficient to discover abnormalities, a few dental clinics also utilize oral cancer detection tools, like a special mouth rinse or blue light. If your dental practitioner is worried, they will generally suggest you visit an oncologist.

    Should your dental practitioner discovers indications of oral cancer, then they’ll consult with another physician. To confirm oral cancer, the physician will most likely perform a biopsy that assesses a few cells from the mouth to look for abnormal cells. If you have oral cancer, your physician will explain your treatment choices and create your treatment program.

      Radiation therapy utilizes localized gamma rays, x-rays, protons, electron beam to prevent the cancerous cells from multiplying. The radiation will be aimed at the region impacted by cancer, which restricts side effects.
      A set of powerful medications, chemotherapy may be utilized to impede the development of cancer or kill the cancerous cells. Based on the kind of chemotherapy drugs used, you might have different side effects throughout your treatment.
      Surgery may be used to eliminate as much of the cancerous region as possible. Based upon the positioning of the oral cancer, this could be a very simple procedure or a lengthier operation. Surgery is often followed by chemotherapy or radiation to address any residual cancer.

    Be sure you are visiting a dentist in Crystal Lake, IL at least one time annually to get a dental exam with an oral cancer screening. At DentalWorks – Crystal Lake our staff assesses every patient for symptoms of oral cancer in their appointments. Early identification and treatment may significantly boost your chances of beating cancer so be certain that you and your loved ones are scheduling routine appointments to get oral cancer screenings at a dental practice in Crystal Lake, IL.