Oral Cancer: Your Questions Answered

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What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer, or cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, hard and soft palate, throat, and floor of the mouth, should be detected and treated early on. When you come into our office for a dental cleaning, Drs. Poetti, Bidra, and Tariq will screen for oral cancer in Meriden, Connecticut.

What are the signs of oral cancer?
As early detection is crucial, we urge you to come to Cloverleaf Dental Center if any of the following symptoms last for more than two weeks:

– Lumps, sores, or swellings in or around your throat or mouth
– The feeling that there is a lump or object stuck in your throat
– Swelling that makes wearing dentures or a removable bridge uncomfortable
– Pain in the ears
– Tenderness, pain, or numbness in the mouth or tongue
– Loose teeth without an explanation
– Trouble moving your tongue or jaw
– Issues with chewing, swallowing, or talking
– Persistent hoarseness or sore throat

Who is at risk for oral cancer?
Studies have shown that men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women. In addition, men who are over 50 years old face an even greater risk. Other risk factors for developing oral cancer are:

– Smoking or using smokeless tobacco products
– Excessive alcohol consumption
– Family history of cancer
– Excessive exposure to the sun

How is oral cancer diagnosed?
During your regular dental checkups, our dentists will perform an oral cancer screening. Your lips, mouth, and face will be visually checked for sores or discolored tissue. In addition, our dentists will feel for any bumps or irregular changes in your neck, face, had, and oral cavity. If a suspicious area is detected, a biopsy (examination of tissues) may be performed.

We encourage you to contact our dental office at 203-634-8727 today to learn more about oral cancer and to schedule your next dental cleaning appointment.