Our doctors can’t tell you with certainty what causes oral cancer. It’s more than likely a combination of genetic predisposition and factors in your environment. Tobacco is the most common factor contributing to oral cancers.  Obviously, smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes and using chewing tobacco greatly increase your chance of getting oral cancer.Cancer ribbon

Signs and symptoms of oral cancer for cancers in the mouth, you, your dentist or your physician can actually see or feel something abnormal in most cases. This is different from cancers in other parts of the head and neck, which can remain hidden for some time.  In our Sandy Springs office symptoms we watch for are:

  1. Painful sores in your mouth
  2. Pain or difficulty swallowing
  3. A patch in your mouth
  4. Difficulty opening your mouth
  5. Numbness (resulting from an effected nerve)
  6. Difficulty speaking
  7. Recurring bleeding from the mouth
  8. Bad breath (a rare sign)
  9. Loose teeth or dentures that won’t fit properly (because of underlying tumors)
  10. A lump in your neck

Remember, not all lumps, patches or bumps are cancer.  There are many of these presentments that are non-cancerous.  Yet there are also a few common pre-malignant lesions of which you should be wary about, which is why you need to see your dentist regularly.  Your visits to your dentist are a visit to your oral health care provider. We recommend preventive dental checkups at least twice a year, if not more, depending on your particular needs. Routine exams and annual x-rays not only to protect against tooth decay but also oral cancers. If we can be of assistance please contact us.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta, GA 30328