Oral cancer isn’t something that many people want to talk about. However, it’s very important that we do talk about it, keep risk factors in mind, and take preventive steps to avoid it. Our TMJ specialist in Chicago provides some information about common risk factors for oral cancer, including a new risk factor that has shown up in the last few years.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
All types of tobacco use have been linked to oral cancer. Initially, some symptoms of oral cancer include painless ulcers in the mouth, red or white patches, tonsils that are different sizes or lumps on the outside of the neck. If you notice any of these, you should be evaluated immediately.
In recent years, human papillomavirus (HPV) have shown to be a risk factor for oral cancer. Certain strains are known to cause cervical cancer in women, and some cancer-causing strains also live in the mouth, increasing the risk for oral cancer. The strains of HPV-16 and HPV-18 have been linked to oral cancers outside of alcohol and tobacco use. There is an HPV vaccine available that can prevent infection.
Symptoms may not be obvious in the beginning stages of oral cancer. In addition, since oral cancer can start in the tissues in the neck or back of the throat, the patient may not even be able to see or detect it. This is where our dentist comes in—during an exam, all tissues in the mouth and neck are checked for abnormalities. Anything that seems suspicious will be evaluated immediately and treated.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry, feel free to contact Dente Complete Dentistry, with a convenient dental office in Chicago by calling 773.295.0562 or by clicking here.