Oral and oropharyngeal cancers start in the mouth or throat. Visiting your Westmount dental clinic for regular checkups and cancer screenings can catch early signs and symptoms you may not notice. Finding cancer early can allow for more treatment options and lead to better outcomes.
Symptoms of Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancers
In the early stages, you may not have noticeable symptoms of oral or oropharyngeal cancer. Your dentist in Westmount is trained to look for specific signs that pre-cancer or cancer may be present. Knowing the signs and symptoms of oral and oropharyngeal cancers can ensure that you get any irregularities checked out at your Westmount dental clinic in a timely manner.
Signs and symptoms may include:
- Sores in the mouth that don’t heal or go away
- Persistent pain in the mouth, teeth or jaw
- Thickening or lumps in the cheek or neck
- White or red patches on the tongue, gums, tonsils and other soft tissues of the mouth and throat
- Sore throat
- An ongoing sensation that something is caught in your throat
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Trouble moving your tongue or jaw
- Numbness in your mouth or tongue
- A swollen jaw
- Dentures become uncomfortable or don’t fit correctly
- Loose teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Hoarseness or changes in your voice
- Weight loss
If any of these conditions last more than two weeks, it’s vital to visit your Westmount dental clinic as soon as possible.
Treatment of Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancers
The dental professionals at your Westmount dental clinic are the first line of defense when it comes to diagnosing and treating oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Depending on the stage and location of the cancer, treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may be used alone or in combination. It’s vital to ask questions and discuss all of your treatment options, treatment goals and potential side effects.
In addition to the team at your Westmount dental clinic, you’ll have other types of doctors on your treatment team, which may include oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ear, nose, and throat doctors and radiation or medical oncologists who specialize in the treatment of cancer.