The annual celebration of life known as National Cancer Survivors Day took place this past Sunday. Inspired by this joyous event, your Sheridan dentists are raising awareness about oral cancer. Protect yourself by knowing the facts about this dangerous disease that claims the lives of 8,000 Americans each year.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer does not have an immediate cause, but risk factors increase a patient’s likelihood of developing the disease. For instance, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, and men over 50 face an even higher risk. Other risk factors include tobacco use, binge drinking, excessive sun exposure, and a family history of cancer. However, you should maintain good health and be aware of oral cancer’s warning signs, even if you don’t fall into those categories.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Regular dental checkups are not only important for the cleanliness of your teeth, they also allow us to protect patients against oral cancer. At six-month dental checkups, we conduct an oral cancer screening on our patients. You probably aren’t aware of the screening. We’re looking for white or red patches – lesions that could indicate cancer. The earlier oral cancer is detected, the higher the success rate for treatment. In fact, early detection increases the survival chance by 80-90%.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Aside from attending regular dental checkups, stay on top of your health by being wary of warning signs. If you experience any of the following oral cancer symptoms, contact us immediately.
• Swelling of lips and gums
• White and red patches in the mouth, often underneath the tongue
• Numbness in the face, mouth, or neck
• Difficulty chewing and swallowing
• Ear pain
• Extreme weight loss
• Chronic sore throat
• Bleeding in the mouth for no apparent reason
At Grinnell Street Dental, we care about your oral and overall health. Schedule an appointment at our Sheridan, Wyoming dentist office today by calling (307) 672-7567.