Supporting Oral Cancer Awareness Month
Since 1999, dental professionals have supported Oral Cancer Awareness Month as a way of educating and encouraging patients to regularly undergo dental examinations that include testing for this form of cancer. Oral cancer is a condition that is said to kill one person per hour. Fortunately, early detection increases the odds of overcoming the condition and enjoying many more years.
UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNS
Much of the focus during the month is on helping people understand the serious nature of oral or mouth cancer. The condition can involve the gums, the lips and any other part of the mouth. In order to increase awareness of this condition, a local dentist office will provide information about changes in the lips or mouth that could indicate the presence of the cancer.
There are several signs that should prompt a visit to the dentist. Discomfort in and around the lips, including tenderness or a loss of sensation, does signal the need for an examination. If the patient finds it hard to move the jaw around or develops a problem swallowing, these can also be early warning signs. The only way to find out what is happening is to seek attention from a dental professional.
ORAL CANCER EXAMINATIONS
Many people are not aware that an examination to detect the presence of oral cancer is different from a routine dental examination. While a routine exam is a vital part of any preventive dentistry strategy, checking for oral cancer does involve a few more steps. The thing to remember is that this type of exam can is included in the standard examination by the hygienist and dentist at Great Lakes Dental. Since the cancer can spread quickly after it develops, catching it early enhances the odds of making a complete recovery.
Anyone who has not already been screened for oral cancer should call today and make an appointment. In the future, do not wait for Oral Cancer Awareness Month to roll around before being checked; commit to having the examination at least twice a year. Doing so will ensure that if the cancer develops, the chances of beating it are much higher.