The Complete Guide to Oral Cancer
Whenever we hear the word ‘cancer,’ it’s always terrifying. And oral cancer is no different. It’s a very serious, potentially life-threatening disease that’s more widespread than many people realize. At our West Caldwell dental office, we believe in early detection, knowing the signs, and treating it proactively. We also believe in overall health for each and every patient. That’s why we want to provide you with as much knowledge on oral cancer as possible.
Oral cancer is a serious problem that affects a large part of our population. Just shy of 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Of those, nearly 8,000 will die from the disease. However, more than 60% of all those diagnosed will survive for more than 5 years. Most of those who beat the cancer are ones who were diagnosed and treated early. When caught early, the chance for survival greatly increases.
The problem with catching oral cancer in its early stages is that common signs and symptoms are often mistaken for other problems. If you notice any of the following changes in your mouth, see your West Caldwell dentist as soon as possible.
- A mouth sore that doesn’t go away
- A lump or thickening in the cheek area
- Difficulty swallowing
- Changes in voice
- Persistent bad breath
The Risk Factors
Some lifestyle choices and genetics play a role in how likely someone is to get oral cancer. While we can’t change genetics, we can take steps to avoid certain lifestyle triggers of oral cancer including:
- Chewing Tobacco
- Alcohol Use
- Lack of Oral Hygiene
Besides avoiding lifestyle habits that increase the likelihood for oral cancer, there are other steps you can take to keep your risk minimal. One of the best ways is maintain regular visits with your dentist. Dentists are able to recognize abnormalities in the mouth and are often the first ones to notice a problem. Dental visits every six months can, in fact, save your life.
If you’re in need of dentist, contact our West Caldwell dental office today.
Welcoming patients from West Caldwell, Fairfield, Roseland.