Oral Cancer 101: Important Things You Should Know

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oral cancer 101 important things you should know

Thousands of people worldwide suffer from oral cancer, which has a negative influence on their overall health in addition to their dental health. For early identification, effective treatment, and increased survival rates, it is essential to comprehend the fundamentals of oral cancer.

We will go into the key elements of oral cancer in this blog article, including its causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and preventative methods. You can take proactive measures to safeguard yourself and your loved ones by educating yourself with this knowledge and considering an oral cancer screening in Saskatoon.

Understanding Oral Cancer

The unusual growth of cells in the mouth and oral cavity is referred to as oral cancer. It can reveal itself in a variety of locations, including the tonsils, lips, tongue, gums, and mouth floor. Squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the flat, thin cells lining the mouth, is the most common type of oral cancer.


Tobacco Use: The risk of oral cancer is greatly increased by smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco products. The mouth’s cells are susceptible to damage from tobacco’s compounds, which can result in cancerous development.

Alcohol Consumption: Oral cancer risk might also rise with regular and excessive consumption of alcohol. When paired with cigarette consumption, alcohol increases the risk even more.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection: Oral cancer has been associated with specific HPV strains, including HPV-16 and HPV-18. Being exposed to an infected partner while having oral intercourse increases the chance of contracting HPV, a sexually transmitted disease.

Sun Exposure: Lip cancer risk can be increased by prolonged, uncovered exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, especially from sunshine.

Poor Oral Hygiene: Failing to regularly brush and floss your teeth can result in chronic mouth inflammation and irritation, which can increase your chance of developing oral cancer.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Successful treatment of oral cancer depends on early identification. Pay attention to the following warning signs and symptoms:

  • Swelling or lumps in the mouth or throat.
  • Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw.
  • Persistent sore throat or hoarseness.
  • Persistent oral ulcers or lesions that do not heal.
  • Pain or discomfort while swallowing or chewing.
  • Red or white patches on the tongue, gums, or lining of the mouth.
  • Numbness or loss of feeling in any part of the mouth.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

It’s essential to remember that diseases other than oral cancer might also produce similar symptoms. But if any of these symptoms last for longer than two weeks, you should visit a medical professional for a more thorough assessment.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Certain factors can increase an individual’s susceptibility to oral cancer. These include:

Tobacco and Alcohol Use: The primary risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking too much alcohol.

Age and Gender: Men are more at risk of developing oral cancer than women, and it is more common in people over 45.

HPV Infection: As was previously mentioned, several HPV strains raise the possibility of getting mouth cancer.

Family History: The risk can be raised by having family members with a history of mouth cancer.

Weakened Immune System: Oral cancer is more likely to occur in those with compromised immune systems, such as those who have HIV/AIDS or are undergoing organ transplantation.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your dentist in Saskatoon or doctor will thoroughly examine your mouth and throat if oral cancer is suspected. To confirm the diagnosis, imaging tests (such as X-rays and CT scans) and endoscopy may be used. Depending on the stage and location of the cancer, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of oral cancer. Here are some essential prevention strategies:

  • Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products.
  • Regular oral cancer screening in Saskatoon
  • Practice good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use.
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Protect yourself from HPV by getting vaccinated.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Limit sun exposure and use sunscreen on your lips.

Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups

Maintaining oral health and identifying possible problems, such as oral cancer, at an early stage, depend on routine dental examinations. Dentists are trained to spot unusual changes in the mouth and, if required, recommend patients for additional testing. You can make sure that your dental health is continually monitored and that any possible issues are swiftly handled by making routine appointments.

Visit Mount Royal Dental for Oral Cancer Screenings!

At Mount Royal Dental, we prioritize your oral health and overall well-being. As part of our commitment to comprehensive care, we offer oral cancer screenings to detect any signs of this potentially life-threatening disease. By scheduling regular check-ups at our dental clinics in Saskatoon, you can ensure that your oral health is closely monitored, including early detection of the disease.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Visit us today and take a proactive step towards protecting your health.