April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the risks and prevention of oral cancer.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer or oral cavity cancer, is a type of cancer that can develop in any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and throat. It usually begins as a small, painless sore or lump in the mouth that doesn’t go away, but can also cause changes in the way your teeth fit together or difficulty swallowing. Oral cancer can affect anyone, but some factors can increase the risk, such as tobacco and alcohol use, a family history of cancer, exposure to certain viruses, and poor oral hygiene. Unfortunately, it is often diagnosed in its later stages, when it is harder to treat.
How Is Oral Cancer Detected?
At Godley Station Dental, we want to emphasize the importance of early detection and prevention of oral cancer. Regular dental check-ups and screenings are crucial for early detection, as many signs and symptoms of oral cancer can be difficult to notice on your own. During a dental check-up, your dentist will perform a visual and physical examination of your mouth, looking for any signs of oral cancer.
Ways to Prevent Oral Cancer
In addition to regular screenings, there are several ways you can reduce your risk of oral cancer. One of the most important things you can do is to avoid tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and snuff. Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of oral cancer, and quitting can significantly reduce your risk. Limiting alcohol consumption is also important, as heavy drinking can increase your risk of oral cancer.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is another important step in preventing oral cancer. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and use mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. A healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can also help reduce your risk of oral cancer.
Schedule Hygiene Wellness Appointments
This April, we encourage you to schedule a dental check-up and oral cancer screening if you haven’t already done so. By working together, we can raise awareness about oral cancer and help prevent this serious disease. If you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
Schedule your routine Wellness Hygiene appointment today to complete an oral cancer screening.