Did you know April is Oral Cancer Awareness month?! Oral Cancer is a disease that affects the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat. While oral cancer is most common in people over 40, it is becoming more and more common in younger patients. Oral Cancer awareness is extremely low, and as dentists, we want people to be more aware of their oral health. Cutting down on or quitting smoking and drinking, and having a good diet consisting of vitamins A, C and E, can provide protection against the development of mouth cancer.
The fastest growing cause of Oral Cancer is HPV virus. While smoking, tobacco, and alcohol are still major risk factors, HPV is the number one cause in young, healthy, non-smoking individuals. Oral Cancer usually starts in the flat cells that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue and lips. Symptoms include red patches inside the mouth or on the lips, sores in the mouth that don’t heal, bleeding of the mouth, numbness of the lower lip and chin, and pain or difficulty swallowing.
If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete recovery are very good. However, many people don’t find it until it’s too late because they do not visit their dentist for regular examinations. At Paradise Dental, we make Oral Cancer screening part of every single comprehensive exam we do. We examine the inside of your mouth and tongue with a small mirror to see parts of your mouth that you cannot easily see yourself. We understand and exhibit the importance daily! Our hygienists ensure that every continuing care appointment entails an extensive screening. What better time to visit our office than now?!