In recent years, an awareness of the dangers of tobacco has been heightened in the public mind. This includes a general awareness that smoking causes oral cancer. This is one of the many reasons that so many people have either quit smoking or never start – a fantastic new development in our society.
But make no mistake: even if you do not smoke, you may still be at risk for oral cancer. Excessive sun exposure, STDs, a weakened immune system, a history of oral cancer in your family, or heavy alcohol use are all potential risk factors.
Here are some early warning signs to look out for:
-mouth sores that don’t go away
-lumps anywhere in the mouth, including the lips and gums
-red or white patches anywhere in or near the mouth
-unexplained bleeding from the mouth
-trouble speaking or chewing
-a sore throat
-pain in the ear
-a change in your voice.
Regular six month dental check-ups are the best way to detect oral cancer. During your visit, Dr. Don W. Heyen can spot the early signs of oral cancer that may otherwise go unnoticed. After our team is done cleaning your smile, Dr. Don W. Heyen will feel your throat for any lumps and inspect your mouth using a specialized light, glove, or dye.
Remember that not every abnormality is a sign of cancer. If we discover anything out of the norm, our Heyen DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry team will perform tests on it and advise you on how to best treat it.
If you live in Wichita Falls, Texas, and you’d like to book an oral cancer screening with Heyen DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, please call 940-257-2522 today.