Apr 14

Get Screened for Oral Cancer!

April is recognized as Oral Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 45,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year – causing over 8,650 deaths (killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day). So what is oral cancer?

Oral cancer often manifests itself as a persistent growth or sore in the mouth. It is defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells which may invade and damage neighboring tissue. This cancer originates in the oral cavity including your lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat (pharynx). If not diagnosed and treated early, it may become life threatening.

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A more comprehensive list of symptoms includes:

  • a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • red or white patches
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

During your next dental exam, be sure to talk to Our Dentists about your ongoing oral health history and request them to examine symptomatic areas of your oral cavity. Our dentists will screen for the cancer by visually inspecting your mouth and through neck and jaw palpation. Again, periodic visits to the dentist will ultimately improve your chances of discover, diagnosis, and treatment of oral cancer so be sure to Request an Appointment!

 

For more detailed information, please check out the following resources:

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