If you need reasons to visit a dentist, how about the very serious threat of oral cancer?
Types of Oral Cancer
Cancer is one of the biggest health problems in the US. What a lot of people don’t know is that oral cancer is a very real problem. There are six main types of oral cancer according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America website:
“Squamous cell carcinoma: More than 90% of cancers that occur in the oral cavity and oropharynx are squamous cell carcinoma. Normally, the throat and mouth are lined with so-called squamous cells, which are flat and arranged in a scale-like way. Squamous cell carcinoma means that some squamous cells are abnormal.
Verrucous carcinoma: About 5% of all oral cavity tumors are verrucous carcinoma, which is a type of very slow-growing cancer made up of squamous cells. This type of oral cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but can invade the tissue surrounding the site of origin.
Minor salivary gland carcinomas: This category includes several kinds of oral cancer that can develop on the minor salivary glands, which are found throughout the lining of the mouth and throat. These types include adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma.
Lymphomas: Oral cancers that develop in lymph tissue, which is part of the immune system, are known as lymphomas. The tonsils and base of the tongue both contain lymphoid tissue. See our pages on Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma for cancer information related to lymphomas in the oral cavity.
Benign oral cavity and oropharyngeal tumors: Several types of non-cancerous tumors and tumor-like conditions can arise in the oral cavity and oropharynx. Sometimes, these conditions may develop into cancer. For this reason, benign tumors, which usually don’t recur, are often surgically removed. The types of benign lesions include:
- Eosinophilic granuloma
- Granular cell tumor
- Condyloma acuminatum
- Verruciform xanthoma
- Pyogenic granuloma
- Odontogenic tumors (lesions that begin in tooth-forming tissues)
Leukoplakia and erythroplakia: These non-cancerous conditions mean that there are certain types of abnormal cells in the mouth or throat. With leukoplakia, a white area can be seen, and with erythroplakia, there is a red area, flat or slightly raised, that often bleeds when scraped. Both conditions may be precancerous; that is, they can develop into different types of cancer. When these conditions occur, a biopsy or other test is done to determine whether the cells are cancerous.” [READ MORE]
Your Gilbert Dentist: Your First Line of Prevention
Cancer is a serious condition. Some forms are obviously more dangerous than others, but don’t underestimate even oral cancer. That’s where a dental exam comes in.
One of the best ways to prevent cancer is early diagnosis and treatment. And a Gilbert dentist can spot it in time, if you schedule an appointment.
Read one of our previous articles here.
Gilbert Vista Dental Care
2451 East Baseline Road #210
Gilbert, AZ 85234
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