While we don’t often hear about it, did you know that oral cancer is responsible for one death every hour in America? What’s worse is that these statistics have not improved over the years! Why? Because oral cancer is typically not diagnosed until its later stages, leaving a worse prognosis for its victims. It is also 20 times more likely that you will develop oral cancer again if you survive it the first time. Your dentist in Canton explains what you should look for and how to protect yourself from this deadly disease.
Understanding Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is considered to be any cancer found within the head and neck region, with the exception of the brain, which has its own category. Oral cancers are tricky to diagnose on your own since they often produce no pain and very few symptoms in the early stages. This is why consistent checkups with your dentist are so important.
Early warning signs to be aware of are:
- A lesion or sore that does not heal within 14 days
- Pain when swallowing or speaking
- A lump or mass in your mouth or neck
- A white or red patch of skin in your mouth that doesn’t heal
If you notice any changes in your mouth or soft tissues, it’s best to contact your dentist for an examination as oral cancer is best treated in its earliest stages.
Who is at Risk for Developing Oral Cancer?
Here are some of the risk factors of oral cancer in Canton to be aware of:
- Age: Oral cancer is more likely to occur in those over the age of 40.
- Tobacco use: Those who smoke or frequently use tobacco products have a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
- Alcohol use: Frequent alcohol consumption combined with tobacco use increases your risk for oral cancer by 15 times.
- HPV: The human papilloma virus has been contributing to oral cancer at an increasing rate
- Poor nutrition: A diet that lacks fruits and vegetables can also be a risk factor for oral cancer
Protecting Yourself from Oral Cancer
Your best line of defense against oral cancer is your six-month checkups with your dentist, who is able to detect oral cancer much earlier. This gives you the best chance for a successful recovery.
You are also your own best advocate and you should contact your dentist right away if you notice any changes occurring in your mouth or oral health.
About Legacy Dental Group
Legacy Dental Group is a team of highly skilled dentists who combine their skills and talents to provide patients in Canton, TX with the compassionate and comprehensive dental care we believe they deserve. You will find that all your needs can be met at our practice including, general dentistry, oral surgery, and orthodontics. There is no need to run all over town to different providers when your entire family can get the dental care they need at Legacy Dental Group.
To contact our dentists you can call us at 903-567-4881 or reach us through our website