No matter where you are when the word “cancer” comes up in reference to your health, it’s serious business. You may assume that conversation would take place in a doctor’s office but not always. Consider your dentist’s office a possibility as well. According to the American Cancer Society, one person dies from oral cancer every hour on average. While that statistic is concerning, it is important to remember an early diagnosis and prompt treatment can improve your chances of survival. With that in mind, read on as your dentist in Lawrenceville shares the signs, risk factors, and prevention tactics.
How Can I Tell That I Might Have Oral Cancer?
With cancer, it is common for symptoms to vary from person to person. However, there are some frequent signs that many patients experience. Therefore, it is important to look for:
- White or red mouth sores on your gums, tonsils, or the lining of your mouth
- Swelling in your neck
- A lump in your cheek
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Trouble moving your jaw or tongue
- Frequent bad breath
- Unintended weight loss
- Feeling like something is caught in your throat
What Increases My Chances of Developing Oral Cancer?
Although oral cancer has been a prevalent health issue for decades, extensive research is still underway on what exactly causes it. However, researchers have pinpointed certain behaviors and conditions that put patients at a higher risk of being diagnosed:
- Using tobacco products
- Consuming a large amount of alcohol
- Contracting the human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Extended sun exposure
- Being over the age of 45
- Having another type of head or neck cancer
Why Is a Dental Exam Crucial to Protect Me?
Fortunately, mouth cancers are recognized as one of the most preventable types. In fact, if it is diagnosed in the early stages, the survival rate is up to 81 percent compared to roughly 45 percent at the five-year mark.
So, it is of the utmost importance to minimize your risk by limiting sun exposure, eating a balanced diet, quitting poor oral habits like using tobacco products, and visiting your dentist regularly. Make sure to talk to your dentist in Lawrenceville today about scheduling a biannual exam and oral cancer screening!
About the Practice
At Transforming Smiles, our team believes that when dentistry is provided with skill and integrity, it can dramatically affect people’s lives for the better. We use the very best technology and techniques available to help our patients achieve smiles that boost their confidence. For Dr. Bruce Carter, an oral cancer screening is a part of every routine appointment. Be sure to schedule a checkup and cleaning twice each year. You can make an appointment on our website or by calling (770) 995-7616.