Do you know how to identify oral cancer? It’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of this condition, especially if you use tobacco products, or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. After all, early diagnosis of oral cancer leads to more prompt treatment and better outcomes.
Here at the Woodstock and New Paltz offices of Dr. Heidi Wettels, we offer a wide range of dental services, including oral cancer screening and treatment. Read on to learn more about oral cancer, and whether you should visit Dr. Wettels for an examination.
How to perform an oral cancer screening
You should do a self-check regularly, taking a close look at your lips, all areas of your tongue, the insides of your cheeks, and your gums. Use a small mouth mirror and a flashlight to check the back of your throat too. You should be looking for:
- Open sores or lesions that won’t heal
- Thickened, white, or wrinkled tissue
- Rough, irritated, red areas in your mouth
- Numbness or tenderness in your mouth or face
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck or under your jaw
- Lumps or bumps in your mouth
- Pain or difficulty swallowing, talking, or chewing
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, seek out the help of your dentist as soon as you can. Dr. Wettels will take a small sample of abnormal tissue and have a biopsy performed. The biopsy will determine if oral cancer is present, and what type of cancer it is. Treatment for oral cancer depends on the type and stage of cancer, and can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Concerned? Give us a call
To learn more about oral cancer signs, symptoms, prevention, and treatment, talk with your dentist. Call either the Woodstock or New Paltz, NY, office of Dr. Heidi Wettels today to schedule a consultation. Dial (845) 244-3082 for the Woodstock office, or (845) 679-6083 for the New Paltz location.