Along with ensuring that your teeth stay healthy, having bi-annual examinations and cleanings can alert you to signs of medical conditions you may not know about. While examining your teeth, our dentists also do oral cancer screenings that can save your life.
Unless cancer spreads or is in the later stages, there may not be signs of oral cancer in its early stages. When checking your mouth, you may feel one of our dentists at Dr. Fieldhouse & Dr. Peterson’s in La Grange Park, IL search under your tongue, at the back of it, and check your cheeks and lips.
The signs that could indicate cancer are white or red sores on the tongue, cheeks, or around the lips. Dentists will also feel the tongue and soft tissues of the mouth to look for lumps or hard areas. Also, a sore throat that doesn’t heal can be a sign of cancer.
If a hard lump or spot in the mouth is found, then one of our dentists at Dr. Fieldhouse & Dr. Peterson’s may do a biopsy to check for this cancer. If the biopsy comes back positive for this disease, then you should contact your primary physician, or you may be referred to an oncologist for treatments.
Although this type of cancer isn’t gender-specific, more men get the disease than women, and people over the age of 45 are more at risk than other age groups. Some of the causes of oral cancer are:
If you have risk factors for oral cancer, our dentists near you in La Grange Park, IL will advise you to stop using tobacco, especially smokeless tobacco, reduce your consumption of alcohol or stop drinking altogether, and establish good oral hygiene habits.
Don’t only depend on getting screenings by our dental staff at Dr. Fieldhouse & Dr. Peterson’s in La Grange Park, IL. You should also do self-examinations by feeling and looking at your tongue, cheeks, and lips. If you find anything suspicious, make an appointment to see your doctor or dentist right away as it could be the difference between life and death.