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Oral Cancer: Finding the early warning signs through Cleveland TN Oral Pathology

oral pathology cleveland TN

Ocoee Oral Surgery offers our insight into oral pathology from our Cleveland TN practice. We search for warning signs of pathological processes such as oral cancer. It’s important to detect and treat cancerous growth early to improve the prognosis for patients. Diseases can manifest in many ways, including discoloration of the inside of the mouth, chronic sore throat, a lump or thickening inside the mouth, difficulty swallowing, or sores which fail to heal and may bleed easily. In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at oral pathology and our role in helping patients address potential pathological processes in the early stages.

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5 Ways to Self-Examine for Oral Cancer

Cleveland Oral Cancer Awareness

Cleveland Oral Cancer Awareness

5 ways to self-examine for oral cancer:

  • The Tongue ‘n Groove. Using a mirror, first, stick out your tongue and look for any unusual changes in bumps, lumps, or color. Most commonly darker spots. Move your tongue around from side to side to assess each surface. Next, touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, as if making an “L” sound. This will help you examine the underside of your tongue and floor under the tongue. In a healthy mouth, these should be uniform in both texture and color.
  • Raise the Roof. Similarly, examine the roof of your mouth. This can easily be done by using a mirror and or feeling with your tongue or fingertips. For optimal viewing, tilt your head back slightly, as if you were to gargle mouthwash. Next, inspect the roof of your mouth for discoloration or changes in texture.
  • The Cheek Check. Graze your tongue or fingertip along the inside of your cheeks. Next gently pull cheeks outward for a visual inspection. If you notice white or red, dark-colored splotches, consult with your doctor. Finally, using a pinching motion, place your index finger inside and your thumb on the outside of your cheek. Squeeze to inspect the entire area for bumps or inflammation.
  • Stay One Step “A-head” of Cancer. Standing and looking straight ahead, observe any abnormalities on both sides of your head and neck. If you notice any protrusion or unevenness of head or facial structure, consult with your doctor. Similarly, check your neck for anything out of the ordinary. Applying light pressure, slide your fingertips around your neck. If you experience any tenderness or signs of swelling, consult with your physician.
  • Read Your Lips. While lips often change with the season, a severe change in lip color or texture can be a tell-tale sign that it’s time to visit your doctor to test for lip cancer. Because the lips are extremely sensitive to sunlight, it is important to apply an SPF lip balm or chap stick if you are in high levels of sun exposure.

Ways to prevent oral cancer:

  • Kick butt and quit using tobacco
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure

Early detection is key. Take the time to perform routine checks, especially if you or someone you know has a family history of oral cancer. An oral self-assessment only takes a minute, but it may buy you a lifetime.

This website is designed for general patient educational and information purposes only and does not render medical advice or professional services, unless we otherwise indicate. The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional health care, and is designed to support – not replace – the relationship you have with your health care provider. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.