April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Therefore, it’s important to know the risks, signs, and symptoms of various types of cancers and how you can protect yourself. As always, it’s important to check for any abnormalities and changes in your oral health and see a dentist for a medical diagnosis.
Risk factors for oral cancer
There are many factors that can put you at risk for developing oral cancer. For example:
- The use of tobacco products can put you at higher risk for developing mouth and throat cancers.
- Heavy alcohol use is also a contributing factor for many cancers.
- Previous history of cancer or cancer diagnosis.
Warning signs & symptoms
Oral cancer can appear in a variety of forms and locations in or around the mouth. For instance, cancer can develop on your lips, cheek lining, gums, on and under the tongue, and at the roof of the mouth.
Be aware of the following symptoms that can appear and visit your dentist if it’s not resolved within two weeks.
- Red or white patches on the tongue or cheek lining
- A sore or lump that doesn’t go away
- Difficulties with chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Changes in your normal oral health
What does a cancer screening entail?
The screening procedure for oral cancer at Reflection Ridge Dental is a fast and non-invasive exam. Your dentist will examine your mouth and tongue and will feel around for any lumps. Then, our dental team will proceed with your routine cleaning and address any questions you have about your oral health.
Preventative dental services by Reflection Ridge Dental
If you are concerned about your risk for developing cancer, or if you need a screening or other preventative dental services, we invite you to book an appointment with us. A new patient appointment includes x-rays, screening for diseases, and a cleaning.