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Gum tissue abnormalities, like swollen gums, can be a sign of many different issues. Something that a lot of people don’t know is that abnormalities, like swollen gums, could be a sign of a much more serious condition: oral cancer. You could be experiencing irritation from a piece of popcorn that’s stuck in your gum pocket. Or, you could be in the early stages of periodontal, or gum disease or it may in fact be oral cancer.
At Meyer Dental Group in Mount Prospect, Illinois, we believe that patients with gum abnormalities should be evaluated for oral cancer.
When most people think of oral cancer, they think of those posters that would be put up in school libraries in an effort to keep kids from trying tobacco products. Unfortunately, many people believed that only smokers or tobacco chewers ended up with oral cancer. They thought that as long as they stayed away from tobacco they would be ok. Shockingly, 25% of oral cancer patients are non tobacco users.
Another issue facing patients is that they don’t know the early warning signs of oral cancer. Therefore, a symptom like gum swelling might go unnoticed, when in fact, it could be a precursor to cancer.
Oral cancer can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages because it can mimic other dental issues. If you notice any of the following symptoms, consult your dentist right away. Even if it’s not oral cancer—and hopefully it isn’t—your Mount Prospect dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer can help you find relief.
Here are 10 common oral cancer indicators:
According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, if you experience any of these symptoms for several days you should contact your dentist. The best case scenario is catching the cancer and treating it early.
At Meyer Dental Group, we are your partners in health. It is our desire to help you achieve optimal dental health, which helps with your overall whole body health. In order to accomplish that, we need your help. If you notice gum tissue abnormalities, let us know right away.
This is what we will check for:
It’s best to have your gums evaluated as soon as you notice any of the noted indicators so that your dentist can give you an oral cancer screening.
Gum swelling, pain or other changes could be a sign of a variety of issues. Even if the issue isn’t oral cancer, it could be another serious condition like gum disease. Either way recognize this as a sign from your body that you need to have Meyer Dental Group evaluate the situation.
When was the last time you had an oral cancer screening? Our goal is to be proactive; we want to catch decay, gum disease, and especially oral cancer as soon as possible. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with us for a comprehensive dental examination.
Are you ready for a different dental experience?
Oral cancer is not one of the most prevalent cancers in the U.S. but a significant number of people are unfortunately affected by this disease every year. The estimate for new cases in 2016 was 48,250 with9,575 fatalities. The common risk factors are the use of tobacco, snuff and alcohol, HPV infection and exposure to the sun.
Here at the Meyer Dental Group, we promote screening methods such as ViziLite Plus as we believe it can help save your life.
ViziLite Plus is a method we use to detect abnormalities in the soft tissue in your mouth. We recommend it for those who are in a high-risk group for developing oral cancer. It is difficult to detect oral cancer early enough just by observation as it cannot be seen easily by a dentist, but ViziLite Plus can do what the eye cannot. The ViziLite Plus exam is fast and painless and could help to save your life.
and live better
ViziLite Plus technology helps us to see abnormal tissue forming in the mouth, before obvious signs of oral cancer become clear. The ViziLite Plus instrument is passed over oral tissue after the area has received treatment from a rinse solution. Tissue that is normal and healthy will absorb any light and will look dark in color while a white color will detect abnormal tissue.
ViziLite Plus is able to identify any tissue changes when they are at an early stage. If we detect anything abnormal we will recommend the next course of action before the abnormality has developed into cancer. This ensures an easy cure compared to a late diagnosis when the abnormality becomes visible to one of our dentists.
When you come to the Meyer Dental Group for your twice yearly check up you can ask us to include a ViziLite Plus examination too. If you do this regularly you won’t even notice it, but you will know that you are giving your mouth a chance to be free of cancer.
We believe in early detection of all dental problems as we know a cure is more effective if administered early rather than too late. It’s good for your overall oral health and good for us, too.
Make a visit to Meyer Dental Group today and we will show you what our commitment to you and your family’s dental health looks like in action, when you see us practicing what we preach