The health of the mouth is important to a person’s overall health, which is why professional and home oral exams are so important. Everyone should have an annual oral exam by their dentist to look for signs and symptoms of disease, but they should also check their own mouth once a month for any abnormalities. Any cysts, lesions, or tumors should be examined and diagnosed quickly for a greater chance at a successful recovery. Any suspicious tissue in the mouth may need a biopsy to provide more information on the condition, which will also help determine the best treatment plan. Board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) Dr. Christopher King performs oral pathology procedures at MidCities Oral Surgery, including biopsies and treatment for cysts, lesions, and tumors. Patients should schedule an appointment with Dr. King as soon as possible if they or their general dentist have any concerns about signs and symptoms of oral cancer.
There are many factors that increase a patient’s odds of developing cancer, including excessive alcohol intake, using tobacco products, developing HPV (human papilloma virus), poor oral hygiene, and more. Patients should talk to their doctor if they notice any abnormalities with the teeth, gums, jaw, and throat. Early detection is important for more treatment options and a better chance at recovery.
An appointment with an OMS for an oral exam should be scheduled immediately if the patient sees any of the following signs:
- A lump or mass in the neck
- A mouth sore that is not healing or bleeds easily
- Any abnormal lumps or thickness
- Chronic hoarseness or sore throat
- Red patches in the mouth
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
- White patches in the mouth