Join us! We will share tips, strategies, and ideas for improving your smile and improving your life. We truly believe a beautiful smile is your biggest asset.
When you think of the dentist, you don’t usually think of cancer detection – just cleanings, fillings, crowns and the like. But your dentist plays a very important role in finding and diagnosing oral cancer, which encompasses cancers of the lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and throat. It can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated quickly.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year alone, causing 9,700 deaths. Of those 53,000 newly diagnosed people, only a bit more than half will be alive in five years. Oral cancer is a very serious condition and must be detected early for the best chance of beating it.
At your twice-yearly cleanings, your dentist should be examining your mouth for signs of oral cancer, which can include:
If you notice any of these signs, see your dentist right away.
Men have twice the risk of getting this type of cancer as women do, and men older than 50 are especially at risk. Generally, risk factors for developing oral cancer include:
Even if you don’t smoke or drink, it’s worth noting that more than 25 percent of all oral cancers occur in people who only drink alcohol once in a while and have never even smoked.