Oral Cancer Screenings IN SCRIPPS RANCH

what are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the oral cavity or throat. The biggest signs of mouth cancer include mouth sores such as a flat and painless red or white patch. This can appear anywhere in the mouth, such as the tonsils, gums, or lining of the mouth. You may also experience swelling, numbness, pain, or tenderness.

Other symptoms may include:

- A lump in your cheek
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Difficulty moving the jaw and tongue
- Ear pain, especially in one ear
- The feeling that something is stuck in your throat
- Bleeding sore or a sore that won’t heal
- Sore throat
- Weight loss
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in your voice

What specifically causes oral cancer is not yet known, but certain lifestyle factors have been shown to increase your risk of developing oral cancer. These include using tobacco products, heavy drinking, having HPV, and excess sun exposure.

how is oral cancer treated?

Determining what treatment is needed for oral cancer depends on the stage of cancer, where it is located in the mouth, and if it has spread to other parts of the body. The most common treatments for oral cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

Your dentist will regularly check for signs of oral cancer during your typical dental checkup. If any presence of oral cancer is suspected, you may be advised to get a biopsy. In the earliest stages, surgery can be used to treat oral cancer. Chemotherapy is typically a treatment that is employed once cancer has spread elsewhere in the body.

Prevention and early detection are extremely important to prevent the development of oral cancer or advancing into later stages of cancer. Dr. Anthony Hatch or Dr. Shivi Gupta can examine your mouth for early warning signs of oral cancer. To schedule an appointment, contact us at Scripps Rock Dental by calling (858) 530-0300 or book online.

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Learn more about the process below.

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surgery

There are three main forms of surgery used to treat oral cancer. The first kind involves removing the tumor from the mouth potentially along with some small amount of jawbone or your tongue depending on how large the tumor is. 

In cases where cancer has spread to the neck, surgery can be used to remove the lymph nodes and the cancer cells in the neck. Finally, after having surgery performed to treat oral cancer, reconstructive surgery may be needed to rebuild the structure of your mouth.

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radiation

There are two different kinds of radiation therapy used to treat oral cancer, known as external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy. External beam radiation therapy is when radiation comes from a machine that directly targets the cancer cells with radiation from outside of your body. Brachytherapy is when seeds and wires are placed near your cancer and is a form of internal radiation therapy. Radiation uses high-energy beams to kill cancer.

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chemotherapy

Chemotherapy utilizes cancer-fighting drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemo is often used in conjunction with radiation because it increases the effectiveness of the radiation treatment.

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targeted therapy

Drugs are used to identify or attack certain cancer cells that fuel their growth or to increase the effectiveness of other cancer treatments. Targeted therapy works by targeting specific genes, proteins, or enzymes that fuel the growth of cancer cells and directly attacking them.

immunotherapy
immunotherapy

This is a treatment for advanced oral cancer which involves the administration of immune-boosting drugs that help you fight against cancer and destroy cancer cells. Cancer cells can inhibit the immune system’s ability to attack the cancer because cancer cells produce proteins that prevent the immune system cells from attacking. Immunotherapy drugs target specific proteins to enhance the body’s immune response.

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how do I make an appointment at Scripps rock dental?

Most people with healthy mouths can get veneers. Here are a few factors that may determine if you’re eligible:

Oral Health

You must have a healthy mouth free of gum disease, tooth decay, and other such issues to get veneers.

Orthodontic Issues

If you have severe issues with your jaw or bite alignment, these will need to be treated before you can get veneers.

Teeth Grinding

To get veneers, you must not grind your teeth or you may need to get a nightguard to protect your teeth. This helps prevent premature damage to your new smile.

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