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

Gail
Gail

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 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 1 month 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!

Ramona Broekema
Ramona Broekema

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

The scary thought of an implant dissolved away with Doctor Jessy's skill and his caring staff. Dr. Jessy is everything you would want in a dentist, a perfectionist, an artist and yet he is personable and highly communicative.I highly recommend him!