It is estimated that mouth cancer affects nearly 35,000 people a year. While it isn’t a well-known form of cancer, it is as common as other cancers, such as leukemia.
Men are more susceptible to mouth cancer than women, and it is prominent in men who are 60 or over.
Mouth cancer is a loose term that refers to any type of growth inside the mouth. Commonly affected areas are:
- Salivary Glands
Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
Just because you may find a sore or a lesion in your mouth doesn’t mean that there is reason to panic. It could be just a random sore from accidentally biting your cheek, a scratch from a cracked tooth, or other reasons. If you notice a sore that just simply won’t go away, it’s probably time for it to be checked out.
One of the main mouth cancer causes is when the cells in the mouth do not break down correctly. This will cause dark red or white spots in the mouth. The most common ulcers are white, and they are oftentimes malignant. They must be treated as soon as possible before cancer spreads any further.
Other symptoms include:
- Discomfort while swallowing
- Soreness while wearing dentures
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
- Bumpy spots in the neck
If you suspect any type of neck cancer, consult your doctor. Because the neck is closest, cancer can travel there fast and affect the lymph nodes, which will lead to cancer spreading throughout the bloodstream. The quicker you notice problems and treat them, the better your chances are to not have any complications.
Mouth Cancer Causes and Treatment
The most common mouth cancer causes are alcohol and tobacco. The chemical makeup of the ingredients used in alcohol cause the DNA in your mouth cells to break down. The reason why this happens is a bit of a mystery to experts, and the best way to prevent mouth cancer is to quit smoking and drinking. However, it should be noted that over 40 million people identify as smokers, so the percentage of those who get mouth cancer from smoking is not so high relative to other cancers.
Other causes are:
- Chewing tobacco – just as risky as smoking cigarettes. The carcinogens from chewing tobacco spread all through the body just like cigarettes.
- Bad oral hygiene – proper brushing and flossing will help cleanse the mouth of impurities that can cause mouth cancer.
- HPV – human papillomavirus is a relatively new disease. Because it affects the mouth and throat areas, it is also thought to contribute to mouth cancer as well.
Surgery is the best and most common way to treat mouth cancer, especially if performed before it spreads. Depending on if the cancer is spread and how far, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be required.
Contact North View Dental Today
If you are concerned that you may have symptoms of mouth cancer, visit North View Dental today to see our hours of operation and request an appointment in our spacious, comfortable office. Alternatively, you can give us a call for a more personal consultation.