It’s April, and that means the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and it’s a great time to be outside. But did you also know that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month? While there may not be an event for you to attend that brings awareness to the issue of oral cancer, your dentist wants you to understand the importance of early detection with an oral cancer screening in Lansdale. Why is it so important? Allow us to explain so that you and your family can have peace of mind.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy: The Importance of Screening
In 2010, it was estimated that more than 36,000 people were diagnosed with oral cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. That number is projected to increase by 45% with 53,000 estimated diagnoses this year. Of that latter number, nearly 10,000 will die. What is so devastating about these statistics is that most cases were not diagnosed until the cancer had progressed.
When talking about oral cancer, it’s is vitally important you remember this: If detected early, it has a high success rate of treatment and survival. If you unsure who you should see about possible detection, look no further than your dentist in Lansdale.
Its Target: Risk Factors That Can Increase Your Chances of Oral Cancer
Unfortunately, there isn’t one particular thing or habit that causes oral cancer. Yes, smoking and tobacco use are the leading factors, but there are other risks associated with the disease, many of which do not involve smoking cigarettes. Some of these risk factors include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Overexposure to the sun
- Autoimmune disorders
- A family history of mouth cancer
- Eating an unhealthy diet
Be on the Lookout: Signs and Symptoms to Watch For
Your dentist in Lansdale is highly-skilled and trained to look for signs of oral cancer. This should give you great peace of mind when visiting your dentist for a routine checkup. Because the procedure takes place during this time, you can expect them to check to your mouth, neck, and jaw for any abnormalities. You’ll also be asked about any symptoms that may not be visible to the naked eye.
However, if you notice changes in your oral cavity or throat prior to appointment, call your dentist to see if you can get in early. Some of these signs include:
- A stiff jaw or neck
- Red or white patches within the mouth
- Oral sores that don’t heal or continually bleed
- A lump in the mouth, gums, neck, or lips
- Loosening teeth
Should your dentist find anything that is concerning, you’ll receive proper instructions on how to contact a physician to receive an official diagnosis.
Don’t waste another minute! Ease your mind and stop the worrying! Talk to your dentist today about scheduling an oral cancer screening. This quick and painless procedure takes only minutes, and once they are done, you’ll rest easy knowing your mouth is healthy and cancer-free.
About the Practice
Brookwood Dental Associates offer patients of all ages the opportunity to receive comprehensive dentistry services performed by highly-skilled dental professionals. Not only do we provide quality checkups for our patients, but we maintain a goal of preventing oral health issues and detecting any problems in its early stages. To learn more, contact us at (215) 368-2424.