November 3, 2019
November is Mouth Cancer Awareness in North Sarasota. That means, if it’s been a while since your last dental visit, there’s no better time than the present to make an appointment and schedule a regular checkup and cleaning. While these visits are important for ensuring your mouth is free from tooth decay and gum disease, it also serves another important purpose, which is to check for any signs of mouth cancer. Find out how your dentist can be your ally in this fight and what symptoms are most closely associated with this unfortunate disease.
What You Need to Know About Mouth Cancer
When compared to breast cancer, melanoma, and cervical cancer, the number of individuals losing their battle with mouth cancer is significantly higher. In fact, it is believed that an estimated 60,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease in the next decade.
The reasons are many, but individuals who use tobacco and drink excessively have the highest risk of developing mouth cancer; however, with the rise of HPV (human papillomavirus), which is a sexually transmitted disease, this could easily become the leading cause within the next 10 years.
What to Look For
Your dentist in North Sarasota will always be able to quickly tell the symptoms associated with mouth cancer, but if you begin to notice any of the following at home, make sure to call your dental office as soon as possible:
- Oral sores that don’t heal quickly
- Red and white patches within the mouth
- Lumps or swelling in your mouth, on your head, or on your neck
- Changes in color or texture along your tongue and its sides
Why Your Dentist is Your Ally
When you schedule a regular dental checkup and cleaning with your dentist, it not only shows that you are taking proactive steps to take care of your teeth and gums, but it also ensures your mouth is free from mouth cancer, which can be dangerous and life-threatening. Early detection is the only way to successfully treat and cure the disease, and one of the quickest and most effective ways to be checked is through an oral cancer screening during your dental checkup.
Apart from viewing your x-rays, your dentist will carefully examine your mouth, neck, head, and throat to ensure there are no signs or symptoms that could be cause for concern. It will also be beneficial to discuss your lifestyle habits and overall health with your dentist, as it might raise your risk of developing mouth cancer.
If there are any abnormal areas present in your mouth, your dentist will refer you to a specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis. No matter the outcome, you can trust that your dental team will be with you every step of the way.
A quick and painless screening can save your life, so why wait? If you want the reassurance that your mouth is disease-free, there’s no better time than now to schedule that dentist appointment.
About the Author
Dr. Warren Hoffman wants you to understand the importance of regular dental checkups and cleanings. Apart from tooth decay and gum disease, mouth cancer is a very real and life-threatening disease. If detected early, it can be easily treated, which is why six-month visits are so important. With his expertise and knowledge, Dr. Hoffman can help to give you peace of mind as it pertains to your oral health.
Dr. Hoffman earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from SUNY Binghamton before going on to attend dental school in Baltimore, Maryland. Receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, he completed an externship during his senior year, providing dental services to stationed members of the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. Contact us at (941) 358-8830 to find out how Dr. Hoffman and his team can help you.