Los Robles General and Cosmetic Dentistry

Oral Cancer

misc image

Oral Cancer services offered in Thousand Oaks, CA

About 53,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. If you’re over age 40 and use tobacco or alcohol, you’re at an increased risk of getting oral cancer. Mojgan Hashemi, DDS, at Los Robles General & Cosmetic Dental Center in Thousand Oaks, California, performs oral cancer screenings during preventive dental care appointments. Call the office or book an appointment online to schedule an appointment today.

Oral Cancer Q & A

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancers include any cancer of the mouth or throat. Cancer can develop on or under the tongue, in the gums, in the tissues lining the mouth, and in the throat area located at the back of the mouth.

What causes oral cancer?

Most oral cancers are related to tobacco or alcohol use (or both) or caused by an infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV). People over age 40 are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, and men have double the risk of developing oral cancer than women.

Poor oral hygiene and lack of dental care can contribute to your risk of developing oral cavity cancer.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

If you have any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hashemi:

  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Sore throat or feeling like you have something stuck in your throat
  • Sore or a lump or irritated area in your mouth, on your lip, or in your throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty chewing 
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
  • Jaw swelling
  • Tongue or mouth numbness
  • Ear pain

You may also have one or more loose teeth if you have oral cancer.

Many people have oral cancer without realizing it, which is why routine visits to the dentist for checkups are extremely important. Early detection is essential as oral cancer spreads quickly. Dr. Hashemi performs an oral cancer screening during your regular dental checkup, looking for signs of cancer on your face, neck, lips, and mouth.

How is oral cancer treated?

When detected early, oral cancer is treated with surgery or radiation therapy. For oral cancer that has spread or is further along, you may need combined radiation, chemotherapy, or other treatments designed to attack the cancer cells. Some oral cancer is treated with surgery in the mouth, face, or jaw by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Your dentist may refer you to an oncologist specialist for oral cancer treatment.

If it’s been more than a year since your last dental checkup or you suspect oral cancer, schedule an appointment online or call the office today.