During the month of April, you may have seen an influx of red and white awareness ribbons. This is the color of oral cancer awareness, which means springtime is also a great time to get in for your regular visit to your dentist in Wilmington, NC. Oral cancer is pervasive and can ultimately lead to missing teeth and worse, but symptoms can be caught early with regular checkups.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
It can be difficult to determine if an issue is serious on your own, which is why it is a good idea to schedule regular visits with Dr. James A. Gainer and the staff at Wrightsville Dental. Every patient is different, and the way you experience some symptoms may be different from another person. Likewise, experiencing symptoms does not necessarily mean you are positive for oral cancer. Some common symptoms include the following:
- Unexplained growths in the mouth
- Lumps or ulcers that do not heal
- Red or white patches inside the mouth
- Pain in the mouth or around the ears
- Trouble swallowing
- Loosening teeth
Screenings Save Lives and Teeth
As part of your regular checkups, Dr. Gainer and the rest of our dental professionals may examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. Occasionally, you may also need a full screening that involves the use of a panoramic X-ray. This can help to determine if there are signs of cancer already in the teeth or jaw.
The key to successfully fighting any disease is early detection, and cancer screenings save lives by catching the early signs of a problem. This is yet another reason it is important to keep your regular dental visits.
Schedule a Checkup Today
A visit to your dentist does not have to wait until every April. If it has been a while since your last oral cancer screening, we can help. Contact our office today to schedule your checkup with Dr. Gainer.