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Oral cancer is a dangerous disease that attacks the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, throat, sinuses, and floor of the mouth. If it’s left untreated, it can destroy your smile and result in death. This is a disease that you should not ignore, and you should keep an eye out for it at all times.

To help you know a little more about oral cancer in Scottsdale, Arizona, our Smiles by Design team has provided the answers to the following frequently asked questions:

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
The most common symptoms of oral cancer are:

-The development of lumps, rough spots, crusts, or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or inside of the mouth
-Red or white patches in the mouth
-Dramatic weight loss
-Ear pain
-A change in the way your dentures fit together
-Difficulty chewing or swallowing
-A feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
-Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that refuse to heal within two weeks
-Unexplained numbness or pain and tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
-Unexplained bleeding in the mouth

Who can get oral cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, men are twice as likely as women to suffer from oral cancer. Men who are also over the age of 50 face the greatest risk. Generally, those who use tobacco products, consume an excessive amount of alcohol, have a family history of cancer, have been exposed to the sun excessively, or have HPV are at a high risk of developing oral cancer.

How is oral cancer diagnosed?
The most typical way of diagnosing oral cancer is with an oral cancer screening at your dental exams. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your entire oral cavity for signs of the disease. If a sign is found, further testing may be needed to diagnose the problem. This is called a biopsy. Your dentist will remove a section of the sore and will examine it in a dental lab. This test will tell your dentist if the sore is cancerous or not.

How is oral cancer treated?
The only way oral cancer is treated is with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Call 480-359-2227 today and schedule an appointment with your dentist, Dr. Zana Alnaqib, if you would like to take advantage of our oral cancer screening treatment. We are happy to examine your oral cavity and determine the health and condition of your smile!