Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells that invade and damage the surrounding tissues. Oral cancer includes cancers in the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat. During your next dental exam, Gerald V. Hansen, DDS, may perform a screening for oral cancer in Reno, Nevada. Oral cancer can be life threatening if it is not detected and treated early. The symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Swelling, lumps, or rough spots on the lips, gums, or other areas inside of the mouth
- White, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
- Bleeding in the mouth
- Numbness or pain in the face, mouth, or neck
- Sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and will not go away
- A feeling that something is stuck in the throat
- A soreness in the throat
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- Chronic sore throat
- Ear aches
- A change in your bite
- Dramatic weight loss
Our dentist uses a VELscope® during oral cancer screening. The VELscope is a handheld scope that is used to detect oral tissue irregularities. The VELscope is used together with the traditional visual inspection of the mouth and palpation of the jaw and neck areas. Unlike other devices used for oral screening, the VELscope exam does not require dyes and can be performed in about two minutes.
To learn more and to schedule a visit, contact Hansen Cosmetic Family Dentistry today.