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Our Patient Education articles offer valuable insights in the various dental options available to our patients. This section is dedicated to educating our patients so they can make much better dental decisions.

Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer

One of the most unfortunate ailments that can befall an individual is to get cancer. Cancer is a disease that tears families apart from the inside out. There are a wide range of common cancer types that strike individuals when they’re least expecting. Eating wholesome, nutritious meals and exercising can help prevent cancer. However, it’s not a sure thing.

In some cases, if you catch it early enough, you can minimize the effects that cancer will have on your health. At Dental Implants Clinic, we’re passionate about preventing, specifically, mouth cancer in our patients.

So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the causes, signs, and symptoms of oral cancer:

Anatomy of mouth

What is Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer is cancer that presents itself in the mouth region. However, cancer that develops inside the mouth can be referred to as oral cancer or oral cavity cancer.   Places where mouth cancer can develop are:

  • Tongue
  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Inner cheeks
  • Floor of the mouth
  • Roof of the mouth

Mouth

How do I know if I have Mouth Cancer?

There are a variety of symptoms that mouth cancer presents as that can help you determine whether or not you may currently have it. Keep in mind that these symptoms could be related to other health issues, and that you should come see our specialists to accurately assess whether you may be at risk for mouth cancer.

Symptoms of mouth cancer include:

  • A sore that fails to heal up
  • A sore that is prone to bleeding
  • A growth, thickening of skin, or lump
  • Pain in your tongue
  • Loose teeth
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Difficulties chewing
  • Stiffness or pain in the jaw
  • Sore throat

Again, if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, especially if you’ve had them more than two weeks, we urge you to make an appointment at Dental Implants Clinic soon.

Sore throat

What Causes Mouth Cancer?

According to Mayo Clinic,

Mouth cancer occurs when cells on your lips or in your mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. These mutations allow cancer cells to continue growing and dividing when healthy cells would die. The accumulating abnormal mouth cancer cells can form a tumor. With time they may spread inside the mouth and on to other areas of the head and neck or other parts of the body.

Mouth cancers most commonly begin in the flat, thin cells (squamous cells) that line your lips and the inside of your mouth. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

It’s not clear what causes the mutations in squamous cells that lead to mouth cancer. But doctors have identified factors that may increase the risk of mouth cancer.”

What are the Risk Factors of Mouth Cancer?

There are many things that you can unknowingly do that put you at a higher risk for developing mouth cancer. Here are some of the key risk factors:

  • Ingestion of tobacco, from smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, etc.
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol
  • Contracting Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • High sun exposure to lips
  • A taxed immune system

Cigarette butt

How to Help Prevent Mouth Cancer

As with all types of cancer, and health issues in general, making healthy choices is a great way to help prevent mouth cancer. Here are a few ways you can reduce your risk:

  • Quit using Tobacco, as it exposes your oral cells to carcinogenic chemicals
  • Consume alcohol in moderation, as chronic excessive alcohol ingestion affects the cells in your mouth and leaves them vulnerable to mouth cancer
  • Eat plenty of fibrous fruits and vegetables, as the vitamins and minerals found within them will bolster your health effectively
  • Use SPF on your lips or avoid excessive sun exposure to them by staying inside or wearing a wide-brimmed hat with lots of coverage
  • Don’t skip your dental checkup, as your dentist can examine your entire mouth with a trained eye to determine if there are any signs of mouth cancer.

SPF lip balm

Why Choose Dental Implants Clinic

At our downtown Toronto dental clinic, our knowledgeable dentistry team offers a wide range of important dental services to help you achieve your brightest smile. Book your next appointment with us today!

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Bond St. Dental Toronto Donations & Raffle

Tis the season for giving and as a team we feel it is our responsibility to help those who are less fortunate than us. This year Bond St Dental will be collecting food & non-perishable items to drop off at several Toronto shelters for the holidays. We are also having a raffle to win a pair of Toronto raptor tickets. Please bring in 3 items & receive 10 ballots to be entered in our contest. Feel free to drop off your contribute items to the collection. Together we can make someone's holiday season a little brighter. Drop off will at Bond street Dental, location at 113 Bond street Toronto, on M5B 1Y2. Your generosity is appreciated.