Oral Cancer Screening…may just save your life.
Have you been screened?
Screenings take less than 10 minutes. During a screening, one of our hygienist looks over the inside of your mouth to check for white patches or mouth sores, feels the tissues in your mouth and checks for lumps or other abnormalities.
Be Mindful of Symptoms
Your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Between dental visits, it is important to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and to give us a call if they do not improve or disappear after two to three weeks:
- Sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
- Red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in your mouth or lips
- Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
There is no better time to schedule an exam than during Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April.
Factors That May Increase Risk
Research has identified a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer. Historically, those at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer have been heavy drinkers and smokers older than age 50, but today cancer also is occurring more frequently in younger, nonsmoking people. The sexually transmitted human papillomavirus 16 (HPV) is related to the increasing incidence of oropharyngeal cancer (most commonly involving tonsillar tissue, including the base of tongue) in that younger population.