April is oral cancer awareness months as sponsored by the ADA. Darien, CT dentist Dr. David Pereira encourages all patients to come in for an oral cancer screening. Our family dentist office offers oral cancer screenings as a part of all regular dental exams. Oral cancer is best treated with early diagnosis, and getting checked at least twice a year could save your life.
Early Detection Saves Lives
Nearly 50,000 Americans every year will be diagnosed with some form of mouth cancer. Early detection is the best way to allow for effective treatment. Many cases go undiagnosed until the later stages of cancer because patients avoid preventative dental care. Dr. Pereira screens every patient for oral cancer during ever biannual dental check up. Screening for oral cancer is a quick and virtually pain-free screening process. Dr. Pereira will visually scan your oral cavity soft tissues, neck and face for any signs of abnormal skin. You may not even realize he has checked you for oral cancer, that is how easy the screening is!
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
While all patients are at risk for developing oral cancer, there are some patients who may be more prone to oral cancers. Certain lifestyle factors and genetics may factor into your risk. Knowing your risk factors can help you stay alerted to any oral changes in your mouth.
- Gender: Men are 2x more likely to get oral cancer
- Age: Patients 55 or older are more likely to develop mouth cancer
- Tobacco Use: Whether it is smoking, vaping, or chewing, tobacco increases oral cancer rates
- Alcohol: The American Cancer Society says 7 out of 10 cancer patients are heavy drinkers
- HPV: HPV has started to change to statistics of oral cancer. Patients are being diagnosed with oral cancer at younger ages due to an increased exposure to the Human Papillomavirus.
If any of these risk factors apply to you, it is a good idea to check your own mouth at least once a month for signs of oral cancer. If changes in your oral cavity persist for two weeks, be sure to call our Darien, CT dentist office.
Signs of Oral Cancer
- White or red patches
- Open sores
- Thickening of soft oral tissue
- Feeling of something caught in throat
- Hoarseness or soreness of throat
- Change in bite or fit of oral appliance
- Numbness or Pain
Schedule A Consulstaion
Be sure to schedule your biannual dental checkups. Preventative dental care is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and to catch advanced oral health problems early. Schedule your visit online or contact our Darien, CT dentist office.