Posted on 11/16/2020 by Pacific Maxillofacial Center
When the cells of your upper or lower gums grow out of control and form tumorous lumps or lesions, you may have early stages of gum cancer. Gum cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that professionals treat in much the same way as other similar cancers.
Outward Signs of Gum Cancer
If you notice dark, red, or white patches anywhere on your gums may be as simple as stains from a dental filling or benign tumors of your blood vessels. If they persist more than two weeks, you should make an appointment to have them explored more fully.
Often, gum cancer symptoms, such as bleeding gums, can be confused for gingivitis in the earliest stages but go on to cause dry, cracked, and sore gums. Thickened, white areas of the gums that you cannot scrape off may be a sign of leukoplakia, and you should have them examined as soon as possible.
According to the American Cancer Society, men are twice as likely as women to develop gum cancer and men over the age of 50 are at the greatest danger. Other risk factors include tobacco use - smoking a pipe, cigarettes, or cigars make the user six times more likely to develop all oral cancers. Those who use smokeless tobacco, such as snuff or chew, are 50 times more likely to develop gum cancer. Excessive drinking or sun exposure will increase your chances of contracting oral cancers, and if you have a family history of oral cancer, you are at greater risk, as well.
Regular dental checks will allow each member of our staff to examine your gums for disturbing abnormalities. If you have concerns about a lesion, dry or sore gums, or a thick spot on your gums between your visits, give us a call. We can exam the area and work with you to develop a treatment plan.