Oral Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Oral cancer is a condition that affects the mouth and throat. It is a sore in the mouth that will not go away naturally. The good news is, by a regular visit to the dentist, you can easily find out if you have oral cancer or not. If detected in the early stage, oral cancer is a curable disease. 

Oral cancer is one leading dental health issues and most dangerous dental conditions. In the USA alone, more than 50000 people have oral cancer. It typically affects people above the age of 40 years. Numbers show that more men are diagnosed with oral cancer than women. The risk of oral cancer increases as you age. 

What causes Oral Cancer?

  1. Tobacco Usage: Tobacco intake is the leading cause of oral cancer. 
  2. Alcohol Consumption: Alcoholism can increase the possibility of cancer.
  3. HPV: Human Papillomavirus can cause oral cancer in the patient through the spread of a high-risk virus. 
  4. Poor Oral Hygiene: Not maintaining a healthy dental care routine can result in cancer in the mouth. 

How can you tell if you have Oral Cancer? 

As mentioned above, regular visits to the dentist can detect mouth cancer. See if you notice any symptoms of oral cancer; if yes, consult with your dentist immediately.

  • Sores inside the mouth that does not go away 
  • White patches inside the mouth
  • Red patches inside the mouth
  • Trouble chewing, drinking, and speaking
  • Feeling like something stuck inside the throat
  • Pain and swelling in the jaw 
  • Teeth ache
  • Bad breath that does not go away even after brushing
  • Numbness in the mouth and tongue in particular
  • Weight loss

Treatment for Oral Cancer

There are five stages of mouth cancer. Stage 0 is the beginning stage, and stage 4 is the last and severe stage. It is not possible to cure cancer in the final stages because cancer would have spread to other parts of the body. However, it is curable in the beginning stages. 

A dentist can easily diagnose and tell any symptoms of oral cancer, if there are any. Surgery, Radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are needed if the tumour is spread to other parts of your body. 

Surgery is the first form of treatment for oral cancer. However, if the cancer is in its final stage, then Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy are needed. 

How to prevent Mouth cancer? 

You can do or don’t do certain things to reduce the possibility of oral cancer. The preventive measures of mouth cancer are: 

  • Do not use tobacco; quit this habit as soon as possible
  • Control or avoid the intake of alcohols
  • Maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine
  • Get vaccinated for Human Papillomavirus, HPV
  • Eat healthy and nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Know about the symptoms of Oral Cancer
  • Regularly visit your dentist and have a check-up
  • If any of the oral health issues are persistent, consult the dentist quickly

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