A visit to the dentist can save your life!

Two stories of oral cancer survivors were recently shared by the American Dental Association.

A story of a 35-year-old wife and mother who learned of an oral cancer diagnosis through routine radiographs and an examination with her dentist can be read here:  

https://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2018/04/oral-cancer-survivor-just-asks-take-a-moment-to-save-a-life.html

Another story of a 12-year-old girl who visited her dentist with a lump on the inside of her cheek which turned out to be oral cancer can be found here:  

http://www.wbtv.com/story/37974404/the-silent-disease-how-early-detection-of-oral-cancer-saved-one-local-girls-life

Early detection of oral cancer is so important and is best done by your dentist or dental hygienist.  Routine examinations and x-rays can lead to detection of pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions before any signs or symptoms are noted by a patient.  

Signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:  

  • Sore throat
  • Swollen, bleeding gums that worsen or do not resolve within a week or two
  • A bump or mass inside the mouth that was not noted before
  • Pain in the ear, mouth or face
  • Pain or difficulty while swallowing
  • Bad breath, ulcers or red and white areas in the mouth
  • Enlarged neck lymph nodes
  • Coughing
  • Unexplained hoarseness of voice

Things to help prevent oral cancer include:

  • Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly
  • Refraining from smoking or chewing any type of tobacco product
  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation
  • Limiting sun exposure and wearing sunscreen, even on the lips
  • Exercising regularly
  • Choosing cancer-fighting foods in your diet
  • Seeing your dentist regularly, at least every six months, for a routine examination and oral cancer screening
  • Conducting a self exam at least once a month

If you have any signs or symptoms, or just have not had an exam lately, please contact our office or your dentist for a visit!