As dental professionals, we must use the knowledge we have to be more diligent in oral cancer screenings. The rate of being diagnosed with oral cancer has increased by a third over the past decade. But why? Most people aren’t informed or realize that catching oral cancer in its preliminary stages is literally life or death. Teaching our patients to be more aware of the changes in their mouth, encouraging regular visits to your dentist in Columbus, and acting urgently when symptoms of oral cancer are found are just a few ways on how we try to be proactive during oral cancer awareness month.
Oral Cancer: The Overwhelming Truth
An astonishing 49,760 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year just in the United states alone. Did you know that approximately 132 patients will be diagnosed with the disease each day? Even more shocking is the fact is that 1 person will die every hour, every day, 365 days a year due to late detection of oral cancer.
Many patient’s lives are dramatically affected by these statistics. Creative Smiles understands that’s not just another patient—that’s someone’s mother, grandfather, sister, cousin. The majority of the time, cancerous cells are detected during the late stages. This results in a very high death rate at about 40% with a bleak reality of only surviving a remaining 5 years at the most. Believe it or not, if you detect and treat oral cancer at an early stage, the survival rate is upwards to 90%! Recognizing the signs early on is critical to stopping the progression of the disease.
Signs and Symptoms: Be Aware of Changes in Your Body
When you review the signs of oral cancer you may notice a lot of similarities to other oral health problems that are much more minor. In some cases, you may think it’s not necessary to seek medical attention. Just because you think you’re a healthy patient doesn’t necessarily make it a reality. Many patients that aren’t high-risk (smokers, excessive drinkers, or patients with autoimmune diseases), there’s still a chance that you could develop oral cancer.
If you notice consistent abnormalities for weeks at a time, consider visiting our office for an oral cancer screening. Your family dentist in Columbus will be able to identify signs of oral cancers early on that you may not notice. Some of the telltale signs of oral cancer include:
- Persistent mouth sores
- Continuous mouth pain
- Lumps on your cheek
- White or red patches on your gums
- A sore throat that lasts for weeks
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
- Numbness in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Change in voice
- Weight loss
- Chronic bad breath
Cancer Screening: Make it Apart of Your Routine Appointments
As your health advocates, we must make it known that high-risk patients aren’t the only ones at risk of developing oral cancer. Our team takes this health threat seriously. Creative Smiles provides oral cancer screenings as a vital part of your regular checkup. Each patient that enters our office will thoroughly have their oral tissues, head, and neck area examined for symptoms that you may not be able to see. If your dentist notices anything suspicious, we can move forward with a biopsy to get you a concrete diagnosis.
Contact our Creative Smiles office in Columbus to be proactive in your long-term health!