April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which is as good a time as any to screen for this treatable but potentially deadly disease. It’s an unfortunate fact that oral cancer has a high death rate, likely because early symptoms are often painless, and it often times goes undiagnosed until it has reached its later stages.
The good news is that we often can detect oral cancer in its most treatable stages if we pay attention. Early detection is the key to success. Stay on top of it so you can stay safe!
Oral Cancer Signs
Below are some signs that you may have oral cancer.
- White or reddish patches inside the mouth
- Growths or lumps inside the mouth
- Sore on lip or mouth that won’t heal
- Mouth or ear pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loose teeth
- Change in how things taste
It’s important not to self-diagnose. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to your dentist today.
Oral Cancer Prevention
Below are some ways to protect yourself from oral cancer.
- Eat healthy, natural foods
- Avoid excessive alcohol use
- Avoid all tobacco use
- Avoid sun exposure
- Use sunscreen/lip balm
While there are no guarantees that you can avoid oral cancer, following this list, practicing good oral hygiene, and visiting your dentist regularly will go a long way toward prevention.
Early Oral Cancer Detection
Your best bet for detecting oral cancer as early as possible is to see your dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings. These screenings are included when we perform an oral examination, which you should schedule at least once a year.
Should your dentist detect early signs of oral cancer during an exam, your odds of beating it are far higher than if the disease was allowed to advance enough to affect your everyday life.
Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Contact Piper Family Dentistry today by calling (727) 548-7100.
Dr. Piper is a General and Cosmetic Dentist who has proudly served Pinellas County since 1993. Both he and his team of professionals provide high quality, gentle dental care in a relaxed, personalized, and caring environment. Treating patients like family sets his practice apart from others.