Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a serious dental disease which is highly treatable, but that can be life threatening if not caught early.  It affects all parts of the mouth, including the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, and throat.  Your dentist is your first and best line of defense because symptoms can be identified at your regular dental checkups.

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a growth or sore in your mouth.  It may look benign or go unnoticed at first, but you should be aware of any bump, sore, or discoloration that doesn’t go away after two weeks.  These are the common symptoms:

  • Unexplained bumps, lumps, thickening, swelling or bleeding
  • Red, white, or speckled patches
  • An ulcer, cold sore or discoloration that doesn’t go away
  • Hard-edged cracks
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, talking, or moving any parts in your mouth
  • An unexplained change in your bite

What are the risk factors for oral cancer?

Men over the age of 50 are at the greatest risk.  Other risks include:

  • Tobacco use.  Smokers and users of smokeless tobacco have much higher rates of developing oral cancers
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Prolonged sun exposure, especially at a young age
  • Family history of cancer

What can I do?

You can reduce your risk immediately by quitting all tobacco use, using alcohol only in moderation, and limiting sun exposure.   You should also make sure to see your dentist for regular checkups at least twice a year.   These checkups will include an oral cancer screening throughout your mouth that is designed to detect any early signs of the disease.  Always contact your dentist immediately if you notice any persistent growths or sores in between appointments.

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Testimonial

“I had a great experience here with the friendly staff, informative Dentist, and state of the art equipment and procedures. I will be back for sure.”

– Robert B.

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Solana Beach Smiles
Reviewed from Google

5 out of 5 stars

Jack Rentz
Jack Rentz

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

Dr. Patel and the Solana Beach Smiles staff are top notch! I have been going to Dr. Patel for the past few years and would recommend anyone in need of a new dentist to come here. She is very skilled, knowledgeable, and takes the time to explain her recommendations to you. You are in good hands with Dr. Patel!

Gail
Gail

5 out of 5 stars

posted 10 months ago

I was visiting CA when I cracked a molar. Dr Jesse was able to get me in on short notice. His staff are so friendly and he and his staff are also very honest. My situation was a challenge which he met going above and beyond. I was so grateful to my daughter for recommending him!

Nathaniel Root
Nathaniel Root

5 out of 5 stars

posted 9 months ago

The staff at Solana Beach Smiles is always friendly and flexible with scheduling. Dr Patel is very personable and continuously checks-in on you during any procedure. Great place!