First and foremost, everyone at Advanced Dental Center hopes you and your loved ones are happy and healthy. We also want you to remain that way for as long as possible.
We have all learned recently how quickly the world can change due to illness. That’s true both for infections like Covid-19 or something like oral cancer. April is Oral Cancer Awareness month.
When you can return to the dental office for a checkup, we want you to know that we can perform an oral cancer screening at Advanced Dental Center. Earlier detection makes a big difference, as 80 to 90 percent of people survive when this disease is discovered in the early stages.
The next time you schedule a dental appointment, we invite you to call 843-627-4076 to visit our office in Florence, SC.
How To Check Yourself
Regular dental exams are invaluable for your long-term oral health, but we also recommend that you conduct a self-check as well. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, here are symptoms you should look for:
- Lumps, bumps, or swelling in or around your mouth
- Red and/or white patches of tissues
- Oral ulcers that don’t appear to be healing
- Oral bleeding
- Persistent hoarseness or sore throat
- Teeth that suddenly become loose
In the late stages of this cancer, you may notice abnormal issues with your tongue or lips. You also may find that your airway feels like it’s obstructed or like you have something stuck in your throat.
Know & Reduce Your Risk
In 9 out of 10 cases, health professionals can identify the causes of oral cancer. As a result, experts have identified the most common factors that increase your risk of developing this disease.
Tobacco use is far and away the leading risk factor. In fact, health professionals have estimated the tobacco contributes to 75 percent of oral cancer cases. It also doesn’t matter whether you smoke, chew, or dip. Avoiding tobacco is one of the best things you can do.
Alcohol use is the second-leading risk factor. Specifically, health experts caution against heavy drinking, which is defined as 21 or more drinks per week. It may go without saying, but drinking while using tobacco further raises your odds of developing oral cancer. Alcohol dries out the tissues of your mouth, which makes them more likely to absorb cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco products.
You might be surprised to know that heavy alcohol use is the second leading cause of oral cancer in the United States. For these purposes, health officials defined heavy drinking as consuming 21 or more drinks per week.
We also want to let you know that HPV (the human papillomavirus) also can lead to cancer in 1 percent of people who contract it. This is the same virus that can lead to cervical cancer in some women. Ask your family physician if the vaccine for HPV is recommended for you or someone in your family.
Visit Us Soon
We hope you plan to visit Advanced Dental Center soon. You can have oral cancer screening as part of your next dental cleaning and exam. Call 843-627-4076 or contact us online to request your appointment. Keep your smile and your health for life.