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The Word of Mouth on Oral Cancer

More than 45,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer; more than 40% of those diagnosed with oral cancer, WILL DIE WITHIN 5 YEARS.
Posted on 4/12/2017 by Heather Erickson

Risk Factors:

•  Tobacco Use: NO amount is safe; risk increases with use
•  Alcohol Use: 7+ drinks per week for women, 14+ drinks per week for men
•  Exposure to the HPV 16 virus
•  The risk is 15x GREATER for those who both smoke and drink

Signs and Symptoms:

Mouth cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue and throat, as well as the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. And because early detection is crucial in overcoming this disease, you'll want to visit your doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms persist for more than two weeks:
•  Sores, swellings, lumps or thick patches anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
•  Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips
•  The feeling of a lump or object stuck in your throat
•  Swellings that make wearing dentures uncomfortable
•  Numbness, pain or tenderness anywhere in your mouth, including your tongue
•  Pain in one of your ears but without any loss of hearing
•  Trouble moving your jaw or tongue, or problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking
•  Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause
•  Lingering sore throat or hoarseness

Oral Cancer Screening and Treatment

Oral cancer examinations by your dentist are detailed, yet quick, painless and crucial to detecting it in its early stages. The American Dental Association (ADA) explains that during a routine checkup of your teeth and gums, your dentist also visually checks your lips and face for signs of spreading beyond your mouth. He or she may also palpate the neck and jaw area, and examine both the top and underside of your tongue. These oral cancer screenings should be done every six months.

A dentist who suspects cancer will recommend a biopsy of the area, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). With a positive diagnosis, surgery may be needed to treat the affected area, and often this surgery is followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatment.


Written in memory of Barbra Tonker.

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Crafton Dental, 10380 Old Columbia Rd, Columbia, MD, 21046 - Tags: dentist Columbia MD• pediatric dentist Columbia MD• dentist Columbia MD• (410) 381-5030•• 6/3/2020