What to Understand About Oral Cancer

January 5, 2019

SmileOral cancer awareness isn’t something you come across regularly, but the disease affects thousands in our nation. According to the American Cancer Association, 51,540 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or mouth cancer in 2018. Of that figure, just over 10,000 cases will become fatal.

The team at Colorado Dental Group wants to improve oral cancer awareness and make sure you have the tools for prevention.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Your dentist is able to spot these signs during your regular checkup. However, if you notice any of the following be sure to call a dental professional and make an appointment.

  • Loose teeth
  • Swelling or bumps in the mouth, neck, or head
  • Ulcers that do not heal in 3 weeks time
  • Differences in speech, such as a lisp

What Areas of the Body Does Oral Cancer Affect?

Oral cancer, or mouth cancer, can occur in the following areas:

  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • Inner lining of cheeks
  • Roof of the mouth
  • Floor of the mouth

Oral Cancer Prevention

Some risk factors you can control on your own are smoking, drinking alcohol, poor diet, and even second-hand smoke. Gardasil, the HPV vaccine available to women, can also help reduce your likelihood of developing oral cancer.

Another important aspect of prevention is seeing your dentist regularly. As part of your 6 month checkup, the dentist will check for any signs or symptoms. Regular checkups also make it much easier to diagnose early on.

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