If you’ve noticed anything different about your smile, you might be inclined to put off having it seen. Maybe there is a small mass that has been growing, or some discoloration has lasted longer than you’ve liked. And is it growing? You’re not quite sure.
Frankly put, it’s very hard to self-diagnose within the mouth. Even a trained oral health professional would struggle seeing the deeper recesses of the mouth. For the average person, a self-diagnosis can at best tell you one thing: when it’s time to recognize your limitations and see a professional.
I Have A Growth
If there is a mass in your mouth that has grown, please do not simply minimize it. There are many different types of growths that can happen in the mouth, and most of them are completely harmless. However, others can be malignant, or cancerous.
It is important to have a dentist or a trained oral pathologist take a look at anything abnormal, or any changes that are occurring in an adult mouth. There are different tests used to biopsy your growth and determine its cause. These are only available at a dentist. Over the counter solutions might work, but they will not be able to give you an accurate diagnosis.
I Have Discoloration
If there is a discoloration within the mouth, on any tissue, it is time to see a dentist. But first, make sure there hasn’t been any sort of trauma recently to the mouth that can account for it. Sometimes your lip is sore the day after you bit it!
But if the discoloration begins to grow, or change shapes, definitely see someone for a biopsy of that tissue. Oral cancer, like all other cancers, is best caught early. Treatment only becomes harder, more painful, and less successful the longer that you wait.
But beyond possible trauma, the likelihood of a harmless reason for discoloration is fairly low. It isn’t a sign that happens often randomly.
I’m Nervous To See Someone
People are very often scared or embarrassed to see a dentist about their oral health concerns. This is completely common and everyone should make sure to find a dentist that makes them feel comfortable, safe, and supported. This is a healthcare issue first and foremost.
Oral pathologists are highly trained in interpreting the signs and symptoms of oral diseases. There is no professional more qualified to help with any problems, and you should feel comfortable in their hands.
And remember that the earlier this issue is handled, the less invasive it is. Even if the growth is benign and you just want it removed for cosmetic reasons, you will surely feel relieaved afterwards.
If you have any questions about your changing smile, or to schedule your appointment, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!