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Oral Cancer by Brittany Blumer

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Oral cancer is a very serious health condition that your dentist or hygienist should look for signs of at every visit. Your dentist should make sure that any changes in your oral health are recorded at every visit to insure that oral cancer will be easily detected during a routine cleaning. Oral cancer can be found in the lining of the cheeks, gums, lips, roof, and floor of the mouth or even the pharynx. This form of cancer is located in the simple squamous epithelial cells and is a result of the overproduction and growth of these cells. If oral cancer is detected it should be treated immediately to prevent it from spreading, resulting in health problems, or causing death.

There are many symptoms of oral cancer. One symptom is difficulty or discomfort while chewing or swallowing. The discomfort while swallowing could also result in difficulty or discomfort when trying to speak or the feeling that there is something caught in the throat that cannot be cleared. Another symptom to look for is bleeding from areas of the mouth without any explanation or cause for the bleeding. The unexplained bleeding could be the result of cancerous ulcers. Other cancerous abnormalities are lumps, tumors, and deep sores. These sores and other abnormalities can cause severe pain and swelling in the pharynx and mouth. Another symptom that is the opposite of having increasing pain is the loss of feeling and increasing numbness in the same areas where the pain would occur in. The most obvious sign that there is an oral health problem is if any of the pain, numbness, ulcers, or other signs are continuous for a least two weeks with no sign of healing. It is very important to pay attention to your oral health and look for any of these signs to help prevent the cancer from spreading if it becomes present.

There are a variety of sources that can cause oral cancer. One is the genetic transfer of the gene that causes this type of cancer. Another way that oral cancer can form is from poor dental hygiene. Increasing your dental health by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with some form of mouthwash daily can easily help prevent the formation of oral cancer due to a lack of dental hygiene. Avoiding the use of tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can decrease your risk for oral cancer tremendously. Chewing tobacco increases the risk of cancer in the lining of the cheeks and lips as a result of the direct contact of the tobacco on these surfaces. The excessive use of alcohol can increase the chances of oral cancer occurring by about 6 percent. Men over the age of 40 should examine their mouths regularly for any abnormalities because they have the greatest chance of the formation of cancerous cells. Men have a two times greater chance of forming oral cancer than women do.

Oral cancer is a very serious matter that should be checked for regularly. If there are any signs of abnormalities that persist for more than two weeks, you must see a doctor immediately to treat the cancer and avoid allowing the cancer to spread beyond the mouth.




American Dental Association – http://www.ada.org/2607.aspx?currentTab=2

PubMed Heath – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002030/

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WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/oral-cancer



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