Shining a Light on Oral Cancer Awareness

At Highlands Dental Arts, located in the heart of Vestavia Hills, AL, we believe that knowledge is power when it comes to your oral health. In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we're dedicating this blog post to raising awareness about oral cancer, its risk factors, and the importance of early detection.

Understanding Oral Cancer: Oral cancer refers to cancers that develop in the mouth or throat tissues. It can affect the lips, tongue, gums, inner lining of the cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth, and the throat. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often diagnosed at later stages, making treatment more challenging and reducing survival rates.

Mouth (Oral) Cancer | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Risk Factors: Several factors can increase the risk of developing oral cancer, including:

  1. Tobacco Use: Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, as well as using smokeless tobacco products, significantly increases the risk of oral cancer.
  2. Heavy Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption, particularly when combined with tobacco use, can elevate the risk of developing oral cancer.
  3. HPV Infection: Certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) have been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer.
  4. Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can increase the risk of lip cancer.
  5. Poor Oral Hygiene: Neglecting oral hygiene practices can contribute to the development of oral cancer.

Sun City West Dental Explores Factors Contributing to Oral Cancer  Development and Risk - atenderdentalcare

Signs and Symptoms: It's essential to be vigilant and recognize the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, including:

  1. Persistent mouth sores that don't heal.
  2. Red or white patches in the mouth.
  3. Lumps or thickening of the oral tissues.
  4. Difficulty swallowing or persistent sore throat.
  5. Numbness or tingling in the mouth or lips.
  6. Changes in voice or hoarseness.
  7. Ear pain that doesn't have an apparent cause.

Early Detection Saves Lives: Routine oral cancer screenings are a vital component of preventive dental care. During your dental check-ups at Highlands Dental Arts, our experienced team will perform a comprehensive oral examination, which includes a thorough assessment of the oral tissues for any abnormalities or signs of cancer.

If any suspicious lesions or symptoms are detected, we may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy, to confirm the diagnosis. Early detection of oral cancer significantly improves treatment outcomes and increases the chances of successful recovery.

Take Action Today: As part of your commitment to maintaining optimal oral health, we encourage you to take proactive steps in reducing your risk of oral cancer:

  1. Avoid tobacco use in any form.
  2. Drink alcohol in moderation.
  3. Practice sun safety by wearing lip balm with SPF and using hats or visors when outdoors.
  4. Maintain good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice daily, flossing, and attending regular dental check-ups.
Oral Cancer Awareness Month | Lindale Dentist: The Center for Implant &  General Dentistry

At Highlands Dental Arts, we're dedicated to promoting oral health and empowering our patients with knowledge about oral cancer prevention and detection. Remember, early detection saves lives. If you have any concerns about oral cancer or would like to schedule a dental check-up and oral cancer screening, contact us today. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against oral cancer.

Let's raise awareness, spread knowledge, and work towards a future where oral cancer is no longer a threat. Your oral health matters, and we're here to support you every step of the way.

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