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Cancer is defined as the unmanageable growth of cells that capture and cause damage to the surrounding tissue. Oral cancer is a type of cancer that shows as a persistent growth or sore in the mouth's tissues that does not heal. The types of oral cancer are cancers of the  lips, tongue, the inner lining of the cheeks, the floor of the mouth, gums, pharynx (throat), and soft and hard palate. Oral cancer can be classified as stages 1 to 4.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Tobacco usage is one of the most significant risk factors for oral cancer. This includes smoking cigars, cigarettes, and pipes, and even chewing tobacco. Excessive alcohol consumption is another major factor that contributes to causing oral cancer. Other risk factors include:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Immoderate exposure to the sun
  • Family history of cancer
  • A weak immune system
  • Improper nutrition

When to See a Dentist

Not every soreness or bleeding is cancer, but it is better to immediately consult a doctor as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • An unwanted growth or mass anywhere inside your mouth
  • Swellings, lumps, bumps, rough spots on the inner lining of the mouth
  • Development or velvety white or red patches inside the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Unexplained numbness or loss of feeling in any area of mouth, face, or neck
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw
  • Earache
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Jaw or tongue pain or stiffness

How is it Diagnosed?

First, we will perform a physical examination of the roof and floor of your mouth, tongue, cheeks, back of your mouth, and the lymph nodes in your neck to determine the cause and type of cancer. On discovering a tumor or any suspicious lesion, we will perform a brush or a tissue biopsy. A brush biopsy is a painless examination in which cells from the tumor are collected by brushing them onto a slide. A tissue biopsy is performed by removing a tissue piece from the tumor and examining it under the microscope. Additionally, we may also perform one or all of the following tests:

  • X-rays
  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • PET scan
  • Endoscopy

How is Oral Cancer Treated?

Treatment of oral cancer will depend on its type and stage. Generally, most oral cancers are treated with surgery to remove the tumor or cancerous lymph followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancerous cells.

How can I Prevent Oral Cancer?

  • Eliminate tobacco usage entirely.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Have a balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun.
  • Do self-examination every now and then. Call a doctor immediately on noticing anything suspicious.
  • Visit your dentist at regular intervals.

Please reach out to Rota Advanced Dental Care in Colorado Springs, CO, 80923, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Rota. Please call Dentist in Colorado Springs, CO at (719) 598-1224 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.


Rota Advanced Dental Care

Dr. Joseph Rota of Rota Advanced Dental Care has been providing top-of-the-line dentistry for more than 45 years. Our Colorado Springs office is focused on modern methods and innovative technology for your comfort and convenience. Our professional affiliations include the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Academy of Craniofacial Pain 
  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of Head, Neck and Facial Pain
  • Colorado Dental Association
  • Colorado Springs Dental Society
  • International Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • Academy of General Dentistry

You can contact our office to schedule an appointment by calling (719) 598-1224.

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Colorado Springs Office

6210 Woodmen Park View
Colorado Springs, CO 80923

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