Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth or throat. Did you know: oral cancer accounts for three percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, or about 53,000 new cases each year?
Your dentist may be able to detect some oral pre-cancers and cancers early. That’s why it’s so important to visit your dentist every six months and ask for an oral cancer exam.
What Puts You At Risk For Oral Cancer?
You are at a higher risk for oral cancer if you:
- Chew or smoke tobacco.
- Drink alcohol in excess.
- Are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.
- Have an immune system that has been weakened by certain medications.
- Have a certain type of HPV, which increases the riskfor oropharyngeal cancer.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk?
- Do not smoke or use tobacco in any way. If you do, quit.
- Limit alcohol consumption to 1-2 drinks per day. The more you drink, the greater your risk of cancer.
- Follow the guidelines for HPV vaccination.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months and ask for an oral cancer exam.
The Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Some of the symptoms of oral cancer include:
- White or red patches on lips, gums, tongue, or mouth lining
- A lumpthat can be felt inside the mouth or on the neck
- Pain or difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Hoarseness lasting a long time
- Numbness or pain in any area of the mouth that does not go away
- Swelling of the jaw
- Lasting earache
If you have any of these symptoms, see your dentist or healthcare provider right away.
The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
A 60-second screening may save your life.
Oral cancer screening is an examination performed by a dentist or doctor to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early when there is a greater chance for a cure.
63% of oral cancers are found at a late stage. This is why early detection could save your life.
OralID, a dental fluorescence technology, quickly identifies oral abnormalities in just a minute. It uses a blue light that provides your dental practitioners with a clear visual of any abnormalities in and around your mouth and throat, including oral cancer and pre-cancer. A standard office light isn’t powerful enough to see these problem areas, which is why OralID is accurate and gives results fast.
Book Your Screening Now
Our goal is to spread awareness of this deadly disease and help save lives. For just 60 seconds of your time, you can add your oral cancer exam to your regular dental checkup. Click here to book your screening today.