This is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Experts estimate that 54,000 people will be diagnosed with this disease in the United States this year. Our hope is that you can avoid this illness, but we also know that early detection can make a big difference.
That’s why we are sharing a few tips that can help you fight this form of cancer.
Schedule a Dental Exam
Anytime you visit us for a dental cleaning and exam, we keep our eyes open for anything suspicious. If we have any concerns, we will let you know if we recommend making an appointment with your doctor.
Between your regular dental visits, you also should perform self-checks. Contact your doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms:
- Pain or difficulty eating, swallowing, or speaking
- Patches on the soft tissues of your mouth that appear red, white, or speckled
- Sores that haven’t healed after a couple of weeks
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
- Lumps or rough spots on the soft tissues of your mouth
Stay Away From Tobacco
Tobacco is not the only cause of oral cancer, but it is by far the most common. Quitting tobacco products or, better yet, avoiding them completely can greatly reduce your risk of this disease.