There’s more to a dental exam than just checking your teeth for cavities. Since many types of major illnesses first begin to show themselves in the mouth, Dr. Aerni will check yours for the warning signs of potential illness.
An especially important one to spot early is oral cancer. Oral cancer can be deadly, but can typically be treated successfully when discovered early. Since it can be painless at first, it can be hard to detect on your own.
Typical symptoms of oral cancer may include:
- Unusual sores or bumps in the mouth
- A strange bump in the neck
- Bleeding tongue or cheeks (or gums, when gum disease is not present)
- Sore throat
- Mouth pain
- A strong pain in one ear
- Difficulty eating, swallowing or moving the jaw
- Jaw numbness
While none of these symptoms necessarily mean you have oral cancer on their own, it’s best to make us aware of any problems you notice. We recommend scheduling an exam with Dr. Aerni should you have any concerns.
Be sure not to wait for a problem to arise before making an appointment. Regular exams are key in spotting oral cancer early. We recommend two appointments a year unless otherwise specified.