skip to main content

We Hope Our New Site Makes You Smile

Shine a Light on Oral Cancer Awareness: Prevention and Early Detection

April 23, 2024

April marks Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a crucial time to shed light on a disease that affects millions worldwide. Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat, can have devastating effects if not detected and treated early. However, the good news is that with awareness, prevention, and early detection measures, the prognosis for oral cancer can significantly improve.


Understanding Oral Cancer

Oral cancer often starts as a small, unnoticed white or red patch or a sore in the mouth. Unfortunately, these early signs can easily be ignored or mistaken for something harmless. As the cancer progresses, it can cause symptoms such as:


Persistent mouth sores

Pain or difficulty swallowing

Lump in the neck

Chronic hoarseness or sore throat

Changes in the fit of dentures


Oral Cancer Awareness


Prevention is Key

While certain risk factors for oral cancer, such as genetics and age, are beyond our control, there are proactive steps individuals can take to reduce their risk:


Avoid Tobacco: Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco is a significant risk factor for oral cancer. Quitting smoking and avoiding all forms of tobacco can significantly reduce your risk.

Limit Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption is another risk factor for oral cancer. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.

Protect Against HPV: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with an increased risk of oral cancer. Practicing safe sex and getting vaccinated against HPV can help lower your risk.

Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of oral cancer. Avoiding excessive consumption of processed foods and maintaining a healthy weight can also be beneficial.

Sun Protection: Lip cancer can be caused by sun exposure. Use lip balm with SPF and wear a wide-brimmed hat outdoors.


Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

Regular dental check-ups are essential not only for maintaining good oral health but also for early detection of oral cancer. Your dentist can perform a simple and painless oral cancer screening during your dental visit. In addition to visual examinations, dentists now have advanced tools like Oral ID to aid in early detection.


Oral Cancer Awareness

What is Oral ID?

Oral ID is a handheld device that uses fluorescence technology to identify abnormalities in the mouth that may indicate oral cancer or pre-cancerous lesions. It emits a blue light that causes healthy tissue to fluoresce, while abnormal tissue appears dark. This allows dentists to identify suspicious areas that may require further evaluation or biopsy.


As we observe Oral Cancer Awareness Month this April, let us remember the importance of prevention and early detection in the fight against oral cancer. By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, seeking regular dental care, and utilizing advanced screening tools like Oral ID, we can empower ourselves to take control of our oral health and reduce the impact of this disease. Schedule your dental appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier, cancer-free smile.

  • News & Blog

Find a Great Expressions
Dental Office