Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the soft tissues or your mouth and throat, including your gums, lips, and soft palate. The most common signs and symptoms associated with oral cancer include:
White, red or speckled patches that develop in the mouth
Lump, bumps or rough spots on the lips, gums or inside the mouth
Unexplained bleeding or numbness in the mouth or on the face or neck
Sores in the mouth or on the face or neck that don't heal within two weeks
Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
Feeling of a foreign object in the throat
Pain in the ear
Difficulty or pain when swallowing or moving the jaw
Change in the way your teeth or dentures meet or come together
Dr. Steinbach will carefully examine the soft tissues of your mouth to look for signs of oral cancer, including the development of discolored patches and other signs. If a suspicious area is observed, he may take an oral brush biopsy, which uses a special brush to gently remove cells from the surface tissue for further examination in a lab. If cancer is suspected, he may also opt to take a larger tissue sample using a local anesthetic to numb the area. Plus, he'll also gently feel your neck for signs of swelling.
In addition to having regular dental checkups, understanding your risk factors is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of developing oral cancers. The most common risk factors include:
Smoking and smokeless tobacco
Family history of oral cancers
Excessive alcohol consumption
Excessive unprotected sun exposure
Human papillomavirus (some types are associated with an increased risk of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma)
Here is a short-list of just some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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