What Is This On My Tongue?

What does this look like to you? Look closely. It doesn’t look like much at first glance, right. Been there a couple months, but doesn’t hurt.

Well, this is more than a little something. This is Oral Cancer and early detection is key to its treatment and long term prognosis.

Oral cancer does not only affect “old people.” It is becoming more and more prevalent in younger populations due to several risk factors that may put you at a greater risk.

  • Tobacco products

  • Habitual Marijuana smoking

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

  • Weakened Immune System

Many photos of oral cancer are of lesions on the tongue. Why? Because while the tongue is not the only place where oral cancer may occur, it is the most common place for a malignant tumor in the oral cavity. More specifically, in the anterior two-thirds of the tongue.

As cancer develops and progresses, a person my notice symptoms such as:

  • Bleeding and pain in the mouth

  • Numbness in one or more areas

  • A lump or buildup of tissue in gums

  • Sore Throat

  • Loose Teeth

  • Red and white patches on the mouth or tongue

  • Difficulty moving the tongue or chewing

  • Discomfort or Difficulty while chewing or swallowing

So, how old do you think the patient in the photo above is? What about this one below?

Or this one?

All of these photos are of people in their 40s or younger. Non-smokers and Non-alcohol drinkers. Early stages of oral cancer may not come with any signs or symptoms. This is why oral cancer screenings with your dental provider are so important.

So, Will having a glass of wine daily mean you’ll get oral cancer? Not likely, but what this information can do for you is make you aware. Aware of what to look for, to perform daily self screenings and to even work on decreasing the number of your own personal risk factors.

Looking for a dentist?

Dr. King and Lakefront Dental Spa performs Free Oral Cancer Screening with every exam. Come check us out! Make an appointment online or call us at (312) 909-2839. Hope to see you soon!If you have a single missing tooth, it’s just as important to replace as an entire arch, because it can cause your oral health to decline over time. For this situation, we’ll likely offer an implant-retained dental crown. Without having to alter your surrounding healthy teeth, we’ll be able to replace the entire structure of your missing tooth with a custom-crafted dental crown.

References: oatext.com ; Medicalnewstoday.com

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