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Warren G. Hoffman D.D.S.
6010 N. Lockwood Ridge Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34243
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Dentist in North Sarasota Is Honoring Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 15, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drhoffman @ 5:38 pm

oral cancer screen on tabletApril is most commonly known as the month for pranks and spring showers — but did you also know it’s also Oral Cancer Awareness Month? Your dentist in North Sarasota is taking this as an opportunity to start a discussion about the disease, and why early detection is so important. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about oral cancer.

What Are the Signs of Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is likely to go unnoticed in the very early stages. For this reason, getting a routine screening from your dentist is very important. A professional exam can help ensure that cancer is detected early, while the chance of successful treatment is highest.

The signs/symptoms of oral cancer include the following:

  • A lesion in the soft oral tissues that does not heal
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Stiffness in the jaw or neck
  • A lump or bump around the lips, cheeks, or gums
  • A change in the symmetry of the face
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • The feeling that something is caught in the throat

How Common Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is far more common than you might think. This disease is responsible for the death of one person in the United States of America per hour, per day, every single day. Over 40,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year — many of them people who do not smoke or consume alcohol excessively. While these risk factors are thought to be the primary cause of oral cancer, the rise in HPV has also increased the number of young, otherwise healthy patients diagnosed with oral cancer.

What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening is a routine exam that your dentist recommends all adults undergoing periodically as part of their preventive treatment plan. It is a visual and tactile examination of the oral cavity and the surrounding structures. Your dentist will ask you a series of questions before the exam begins to find out if you have noticed any unusual changes lately. Then, if anything suspicious is located during the screening, instructions will be given to ensure you receive the prompt follow-up care you need. A lesion that has not healed in 2 weeks, for example, will likely need a biopsy right away.

How Can I Prevent Oral Cancer?

The best way to protect yourself against oral cancer is to stay on top of your routine screenings beginning in your 30s. If you smoke, have a family history of cancer or have been exposed to HPV, you are at a higher risk of developing the disease, which means routine screenings are of the utmost importance.

You can also protect your loved ones against this disease by talking to them about the risk. After all, there has never been a better time to talk about it than during April, Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Meet the Practice

Parkway Ridge Dental, led by Dr. Warren G. Hoffman, is a general dentistry practice offering a full list of services for patients of all ages. To schedule an oral cancer screening this month or next, do not hesitate to get in touch with your dentist in North Sarasota by calling him at (941) 358-8830.