Frequently asked questions about oral cancer and oral cancer screening

Oral cancer is one of the hundreds of cancers that can affect the human body, but it is also one of the very few that is visible. Regular oral cancer screenings can ensure early detection and treatment, increasing the likelihood of survival for those prudent enough to know the signs and symptoms. At Centre Place Dental, our providers evaluate patients in and around the Lincoln, Nebraska, area to monitor for these symptoms. Let’s talk about some commonly asked questions about oral cancer.

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer, sometimes called mouth cancer, is a variety of cancer that occurs when abnormal cells in the mouth grow out of control. These cells develop in any part of the mouth and oral cavity, including the lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums. Oral cancer might become fatal if not diagnosed early and treated properly, just like many other cancers of the body. Early detection of oral cancer improves the chances of treatment.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

The more common signs of oral cancer include:

  • Sores or lumps on the gums, lips, or inside of the mouth that don’t heal
  • A white patch on your tongue or cheek
  • Painful swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Unexplained earache
  • Numbness or loss of feeling in your face
  • Unusual bleeding from the mouth
  • Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw.

If you notice any of the symptoms above, it is critical that you consult with our dentists at Centre Place Dental to get an accurate diagnosis.

What causes oral cancer?

The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown, but several risk factors have been associated with increasing one’s chances of developing this type of cancer. These include:

  • Using tobacco products
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light (from tanning beds)
  • Certain viral infections, including human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Certain genetic conditions

How can I improve my chances of survival?

Early diagnosis and immediate treatment are the most effective ways to recover from oral cancer once it has been found. This is why Drs. Chris and Robin Post at Centre Place Dental encourages Lincoln, NE, area patients to visit a dental practice that evaluates the smile regularly and monitors for issues indicative of oral cancer. These screenings can save lives! Call (402) 799-4977 to request a visit at 144 North 44th Street, Suite F, for an oral cancer screening with our dental team today!