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Oral cancer is a disease that should be avoided at all costs. If left untreated, it can result in the destruction of your smile and death. Our Christiansburg Dental team cares about you and your entire health, which is why we want to teach you a little more about the disease. The more you know, the better of a chance you’ll have of identifying the sickness and treating it early. So, to help you know more about oral cancer in Christiansburg, Virginia, we have provided the answers to the following questions:

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Typically, the common symptoms of oral cancer include:

-Red or white patches in the mouth
-Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth
-A feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
-Difficulty chewing or swallowing
-Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
-Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
-Lumps, rough spots, crusts, or eroded areas in the mouth
-Unexplained numbness in the mouth
-Pain or tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
-Difficulty speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
-Ear pain
-A change in the way your dentures fit together
-Dramatic weight loss

Who can get oral cancer?
Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, especially men who are over the age of 50, according to the American Cancer Society. Also, those who use tobacco products, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, have a family history of cancer, have been excessively exposed to the sun, or have HPV are at a high risk of developing the disease.

How is oral cancer diagnosed?
The most common way oral cancer is diagnosed is with an oral cancer screening at your dental office. When you come in for a dental exam, your dentist will also thoroughly examine your mouth, throat, and sinuses for any signs of oral cancer. If they does notice a symptom, a biopsy may be needed. A biopsy will involve your dentist removing a section of the sore or patch and examining that portion in a dental lab. This will help them know if the sign is cancerous or not.

How is oral cancer treated?
There is only one way that oral cancer is treated: oral surgery. Your doctor will remove the cancerous section of your mouth and then you will begin radiation therapy or chemotherapy to destroy the other cancerous cells in your body.

If you think you may be a victim of oral cancer, please call 540-257-6995 today and schedule an appointment with your dentist, Dr. Dr. Miller Lewis and Dr. David Kelly, as soon as possible. The sooner you come in, the sooner we’ll be able to determine the health and condition of your oral cavity.