It is crucially important to catch oral cancer as early as possible in order for it to be treated with a higher success rate. An oral cancer exam can detect premature signs of cancer. The oral cancer exam is quick and painless. During your regular dental check-up your dentist or dental hygienist will check your face, neck, lips, and entire mouth for signs of cancer. Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the pharynx, which is the back of the throat and accounts for approximately 2% of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States. Roughly 35,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year and around 7,600 will die from the disease. On average 60% of those with the disease will survive more than 5 years. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects more than twice as many men as women.
Below are some factors that may put you at a higher risk for oral cancer:
Tobacco and alcohol use. Most cases of oral cancer are linked to cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use, or the use of both tobacco and alcohol together. Using tobacco plus alcohol poses a much greater risk than using either substance alone.
HPV Infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (specifically the HPV 16 type) has been linked to a subset of oral cancers.
Age. Risk increases with age. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40.
Sun Exposure. Cancer of the lip can be caused by sun exposure.
Diet. A diet low in fruits and vegetables may play a role in oral cancer development.
If you notice any of the below signs/symptoms lasting for more than 2 weeks, see a dentist or physician as soon as possible to have the area evaluated.
- A white or red patch in your mouth
- A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip, or throat
- A feeling that something is caught in your throat
- Difficulty chewing/swallowing or moving your jaw/tongue
- Any numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth
- Swelling of your jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
- Pain in one ear without hearing loss
What are people saying?
“Williams Family Dentistry is amazing! I’m absolutely terrified of dentists, but their caring staff ensures that my fears are acknowledged and assists me with finding ways to overcome them. They are the only dental office that I trust. They take great care of their patients and I will never go anywhere else.”
“I’ve seen multiple other dentists in town over the years and am so happy I switched to Williams Family Dentistry! Everyone who works there is so friendly and I feel like they are much more thorough than any other place I’ve been to before. Highly recommend!”
“Everyone at Williams Family Dentistry is very friendly and ready to help you in any way they can. Melanie is an amazing hygienist and I appreciate her skills and knowledge every time I am there. Dr. Shanna is a wonderful dentist. Her care and compassion for her patients is amazing. She is a great addition to a wonderful family of dentists.”
1511 Emerald Plaza
College Station, TX
Monday 8am – 5pm
Tuesday 8am – 5pm
Wednesday 8am – 5pm
Thursday 8am – 4pm