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Do you know all there is to know about oral cancer? If not, our Crozet Dentist team is here to help you! The more you know about oral cancer in Charlottesville, Virginia, the higher of a chance you’ll have of identifying and treating the disease early, which is extremely beneficial. So, to help you know more about the sickness, we have provided the answers to the following questions:

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
There are many signs that lead to oral cancer, but the most common symptoms include:

-Swelling or thickness in the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
-Bumps, rough spots, crusts, or eroded areas in the mouth
-Red or white patches on the oral tissues
-Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
-The loss of feeling in any area of the face or mouth
-Pain or tenderness in the face, mouth, or neck
-Persistent sores on the mouth, face, or neck that take longer than two weeks to heal
-A feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat
-Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
-Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
-Ear pain
-A change in the way your dentures fit together
-Dramatic weight loss

Who can get oral cancer?
Many people can fall victim to oral cancer, especially those who use tobacco products, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, have a family history of cancer, have been excessively exposed to the sun, or have HPV. However, according to the American Cancer Society, men are twice as likely as women to suffer from oral cancer, especially men who are over the age of 50.

How is oral cancer diagnosed?
Typically, the most common way to diagnose oral cancer is with an oral cancer screening. This treatment is offered at your dental office and it involves your dentist thoroughly examining your entire oral cavity for any oral cancer signs. If a sign is identified, a biopsy may be needed, which is a treatment that involves your dentist removing a portion of your sore or patch and studying it in the dental lab.

How is oral cancer treated?
The only way to treat oral cancer is with surgery. Your doctor will remove the cancerous section of your mouth and will then get you started on radiation therapy or chemotherapy to destroy any other cancerous cells in your body.

For details on how to prevent the disease, please call 434-218-7072 today and talk to a member of our dental team. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment with your dentist, Dr. Dr. Jennifer Rice and Dr. James Rice, if you’re interested in taking advantage of our oral cancer screening treatment. We are happy to help you!