Almost everyone can recall finding a white spot/bump in their mouth at sometime. Some of the more common reasons why a white spot might appear are:
- Biting on your cheek or tongue
- Eating a piece of food that aggravates an area
- A tooth that rubs against an area
- Poorly fitted dentures
- Tobacco use
Although you may find one of these white spots on occasion, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have oral cancer. It is likely considered leukoplakia… a condition caused by excess cell growth and should clear on its own within two weeks. However, although this condition is not considered cancer, it can progress into cancer. It is extremely important that you see a doctor or dentist if any of these conditions last more than two weeks. Having these symptoms looked at earlier will give you the best chance of receiving the proper treatment (if any is needed).
A more concerning spot would be one that is red in color. These areas are known as erythroplakia and are often more likely to be cancer or develop into cancer at a faster rate than leukoplakia. Again, it is extremely important that you see a doctor or dentist if any of these conditions last more than two weeks. April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, come in to Capital Oral and Facial Surgery Center for a free screening in the month of April!
For more information on oral cancer, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org.