Oral cancer is a serious condition that can cause pain and disfigurement. It’s also one of the most common cancers in the United States, affecting more than 52,000 people each year.
Oral cancer has become more prevalent in recent years because of things like smoking, chewing tobacco, and sun exposure, but it can also be prevented by visiting your dentist for regular checkups and screenings. This month is dedicated to raising awareness about oral cancers so that we can help stop this disease before it gets started!
Read on as a Miami Beach, FL dentist talks about oral cancer and steps you can take to lower your risk of contracting this disease.
Rates of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States. An estimated 55,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and 10,000 will die from it, but these numbers are on the rise.
In addition to being more likely than other types of cancers, such as lung or breast cancer, some studies suggest that smoking may play an important role. A recent study from Public Health England revealed that smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to develop what’s known as “oral cavity” cancers. Oral cavity cancers involve the lips or mouth area.
Signs of Oral Cancer to Watch for
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of oral cancer so you can get it treated as soon as possible. Here are just a few to consider:
- Mouth pain or soreness
- Sores that don’t heal
- White or red patches on the tongue, mouth lining or gums
- Difficulty swallowing food because of pain in your throat
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- A lump in your mouth or throat, especially if it is hard or painful to swallow
- A sore that doesn’t heal or bleeding from your gums
- A change in the way your teeth fit together
Things You Can Do
If you’re worried about oral cancer, or if you have a family history of the disease and want to know more, talk to your dentist. Together, you can make sure that you’re doing everything possible to prevent or detect oral cancer early.
You can also take simple steps in everyday life that will help keep your mouth healthy, such as brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and scheduling regular checkups with a trusted dentist.
And if you have more questions or wish to schedule a dental wellness checkup, please don’t hesitate to call us, your local Miami Beach, FL dentist, anytime!