Oral cancer is one of the most severe oral conditions that affect the mouth and surrounding tissues. It is characterized by the growth of cancerous cells in the soft tissues of the mouth, such as the lips, tongue, gums, or the soft inner lining. Oral cancer screening allows the dentist to determine the presence of such cells, thereby allowing them to provide the right treatment to counter the condition.
Millions of people have fallen prey to oral cancer for as long as one can remember. Early detection is the only full-proof way of ensuring oral cancer doesn't advance to a severe stage that it becomes incurable. We understand the magnitude of such conditions, which is why we give a lot of importance to oral cancer screening.
Causes of oral cancer
In most cases, oral cancer is caused due to chewing tobacco, smoking cigarettes, etc. Tobacco contains numerous cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) that affect the tissues they come in contact with. Hence, it is best to avoid such habits to stay clear of oral cancer.
Symptoms of oral cancer
- White and red sores can be seen on the inner lining of the mouth. Most often, there would be a burning sensation when food comes in contact with them.
- Redness and inflammation of the soft tissues
- Bleeding and discharge of pus from the gums and other soft tissues.
- A hard lump underneath the inner lining that would pain when pressed.
- A feeling of numbness when you bite and chew food.
- Pain in and around the throat, combined with a difficulty in swallowing food
- Persistent pain in the mouth that wouldn't go away despite taking medication.
How is oral cancer detected?
Treating oral cancer at the earlier stages makes it easier to get rid of the cancerous cells, thereby yielding better results. We use certain advanced equipment that is approved by the mouth cancer foundation. To extract the infected tissues, we use oral CDx. The presence of cancer is confirmed using a device called VELscope, which uses a 'blue light' of a specific wavelength and intensity to do so.
In case cancer has spread to the larynx and pharynx, we will have to examine them as well. Since we can't do it visually, we use an intraoral camera for the purpose. Based on the diagnosis and observation of the data obtained, the presence of cancer will be determined. If confirmed, further treatment will be recommended.
Please schedule an online appointment or call us at (773) 374-9778 for Chicago and (708) 914-4381 for Homewood to have a consultation with Dr. Moore, and we will be happy to help.