Generally, precancerous mouth cancer is not yet cancer. However, if untreated, there is a possibility that these abnormal changes in your mouth might become cancer. Seeing your dentist can help detect abnormal cells or unusual growths in your mouth. Suppose you do not have a dentist and are looking for great suggestions. In that case, Our Dental Care Drummoyne offers affordable services to keep your mouth healthy. Find out more in this article about oral cavity cancer and how to identify if your bump, sore, or swelling might indicate something more serious.
Oral Cavity Cancer
Oral cancer, also known as oral cavity cancer or mouth cancer, is cancer that belongs to a larger group of cancers known as head and neck cancers. In fact, most oral cancers develop in the squamous cells found in your lips, mouth, or tongue. If cancer affects the throat lining, it is usually called oropharyngeal cancer.
Most people discover they have mouth cancers after cancer spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. A visit to your local dental clinic is the key to early detection to survive oral cancer.
Risk Factors For Oral Cancer
Tobacco use, such as smoking cigars, cigarettes, pipes, or chewing tobacco, is one of the most significant risk factors for developing cancer. In addition, individuals who consume substantial amounts of tobacco and alcohol are at a higher risk, mainly when they use both products regularly.
Other risk factors of developing oral cancer include:
- Poor nutrition
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Genetic syndromes
- A family history of oral or different types of cancer
- Chronic facial sun exposure
- A weakened immune system
- A previous diagnosis of oral cancer
Furthermore, according to the National Cancer Institute, men are more prone to get oral cancer than women. If you are at a high risk of developing mouth cancer, schedule an appointment here to prevent or stop worsening the condition.
Abnormal Cells in The Mouth: What They Look Like
Here are the following signs you should look for when you have a bump, sore, or swelling in your mouth:
A Patch In The Mouth
Squamous cells are the flat cells that cover the surfaces of your tongue, lips, and mouth. In fact, most premalignant oral lesions begin in these cells. Hence, a patch on your lips, tongue, gums, throat, or your mouth’s lining, known as oral mucosa, can indicate a problem.
A white or red sore within your mouth or on your lips might be a possible indication of squamous cell carcinoma.
Oral cancer may appear and cause symptoms in various ways. The skin might feel thicker or nodular, or there might be a persistent sore or ulcer. If you wear dental appliances like dentures or braces, it may indicate that you need to reline your dentures or adjust your braces. Just keep in mind the persistent nature of these irregularities. Noncancerous oral lesions will quite often resolve in a few weeks.
Erythroplakia is the bright red lumps or patches in your mouth that look velvety. They usually indicate precancerous changes, so do not disregard any vividly colored areas in your mouth. If you have this type of patch, your dentist will take a biopsy to know if these cells are cancerous.
Leukoplakia, or keratosis, is used to describe the grayish or white spot in your mouth. An irritant like a broken denture, rough tooth, or tobacco can result in cell overgrow, creating these patches.
These oral lesions indicate that the tissue is abnormal and can become cancer. Nevertheless, much of the time, it will be benign. The spots or bumps might be rough and hard and difficult to scratch off.
Mixed Red and White Patches
A combination of red and white patches in your mouth, known as erythroleukoplakia, is an abnormal cell development bound to become cancerous. If these patches last over two weeks, it is crucial to visit your dentist. In the early stages, mouth cancer might cause no pain. In fact, you might notice these abnormalities before you feel them.
Sores On Your Tongue
Erythroplakia can develop anywhere in your mouth. However, it usually occurs on your gums behind your back teeth. Or on the floor of the mouth under the tongue. You can examine your mouth for any signs and symptoms of abnormality by using a magnifying mirror under a bright light to get a good look.
Knowing how to differentiate a canker sore from something more serious, like oral cancer, can help ease your mind. Canker sores in your mouth frequently sting, burn or tingle before it becomes apparent. As a matter of fact, mouth cancer rarely causes any pain in its early stages. Abnormal cell growth typically shows up as flat patches.
A canker sore resembles an ulcer, generally with a depression in the middle. The center of the canker sore seems gray, white, or yellow, and the borders are red.
Keep in mind that canker sores are usually painful, yet they are not malignant. This implies that they do not become cancerous. A canker sore typically heals within two weeks. Hence, any lesion, spot, sore, or lump in your mouth that continues longer requires a professional assessment.
See Your Dentist
A regular dental checkup is an essential cancer screening instrument. These appointments allow your dentist to detect any indication of mouth cancer in the earliest stages. Immediate treatment diminishes the probability that precancerous cells will become malignant.
In addition, you can likewise reduce your risk of developing oral cancer. These include avoiding tobacco products, such as chew or dip, and cigarettes, which have all been associated with mouth cancer.
What Are Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers?