Talk To Your Dentist About Oral Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates 53,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers per year and that an estimated 10,860 will die of these cancers. While we love to write about the newest oral health technologies on the market or successful ways to get your kids in the habit of brushing their teeth, we equally love to raise awareness around oral health issues.
This month is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Oral cancer refers to any cancer occurring in the oral cavity, this includes the tongue, cheeks, gums roof of the mouth. Because symptoms are typically painless, oral cancer is often diagnosed and treated in later stages. So visiting your dentist is key in reducing its severity and detecting it early.
Technology has allowed us to detect cancers earlier, increasing the survival rate to about 90%. At your twice annual dental appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth for precancerous conditions. You can also schedule an appointment with your dentist for an oral cancer screening.
During this appointment you can discuss your unique risk factors for oral cancer like if someone in your family has oral cancer, lifestyle behaviors like drinking, smoking and tobacco use can affect and your overall health.
Understanding the relationship your oral health has with your overall health is important keeping your overall health in check.