Oral Cancer: Awareness and Early Detection Saves Lives

April 30, 2024

Oral cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide, with tens of thousands of new cases being diagnosed each year. This serious disease can affect anyone, but certain groups are at a higher risk. By staying informed about oral cancer and getting regular check-ups, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing this condition.

Who is most at risk for oral cancer?

While both men and women can develop oral cancer, statistics show that men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease. Those over 50 who smoke heavily and drink alcohol excessively face an even greater risk. Other factors that increase your chances of developing oral cancer include exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), a history of head and neck radiation treatment, contact with certain chemicals, or a poor diet.

What can you learn from your dental check-ups?

When you visit the office of Alta Dental, our skilled and compassionate team is here to help you maintain a healthy smile and overall well-being. During each check-up appointment, we don't just focus on your teeth; we also perform a thorough oral cancer screening to detect any signs or symptoms that might indicate the development of this life-threatening condition.

Recognizing the warning signs of oral cancer

Stay alert! Many of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer can be mistaken for harmless lesions or sores that may disappear on their own. If you notice any of the following, it's essential to schedule an appointment for a timely evaluation:

  • Mouth sores or ulcers that don't heal
  • Red or white patches in your mouth
  • Unusual lumps or thickened areas inside your mouth
  • Persistent swelling of unknown origin
  • Pain when swallowing
  • A sore or painful tongue
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your throat
  • Tenderness or numbness in your mouth or lips
  • Loose teeth
  • Jaw pain or stiffness

Although the number of oral and oropharyngeal cancer cases continues to rise, advancements in prevention, early detection, and treatment methods offer better prognoses and outcomes for those affected by this disease.

Stay informed and take action

By far, the most crucial aspect of oral cancer is awareness. Since many signs and symptoms can mimic benign lesions or remain painless, you may be unaware of its presence. At the office of Alta Dental, we perform routine oral cancer screenings to check for questionable tissue changes or unusual growths that might indicate the development of this condition. If we detect any suspicious signs during your visit, we'll recommend a timely biopsy and diagnostic testing as needed.

While there's no surefire way to prevent all cases of oral cancer, staying informed about the risks and maintaining regular dental check-ups can significantly reduce your chances of developing this life-threatening disease. Remember, early detection is key!

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns or want to schedule an appointment for a thorough oral cancer screening. Our dedicated team at the office of Alta Dental is here to support your journey towards optimal oral health and overall well-being.

Take action today!

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