It’s oral cancer awareness month- have you been screened for this growing health concern?

The signs and symptoms of oral cancer can frequently be spotted by Buford family dentist Dr. Alla Brown during a routine dental exam. Visiting Dr. Brown at Lanier Family and Cosmetic Dentistry twice per year can be a life saver- it enables Dr. Brown and her staff to detect changes in the oral cavity that may indicate a possible health issue that a patient would not notice with typical oral hygiene practices at home. Detecting oral cancer in the early stage can dramatically increase the effectiveness of treatment: less than 50% of patients can be treated successfully when diagnosed in later stages.

Oral cancer has been on the rise globally and it is estimated that over 8,000 deaths are attributed to this type of disease each year in the U.S. Tobacco use and smoking are both major causes of oral cancer, but the rise of the HPV virus has also been linked to the rise in oral cancer rates.

Do you know the common symptoms of oral cancer?

Symptoms of oral cancer can include:

Persistent hoarseness
Pain or difficulty swallowing
Lump in the throat or neck
Persistent earache- often in both ears
Numbness in or around the mouth
Lesion or sore that does not go away

Preventive dental care is important! Routine screening during a dental visit is a quick and painless way to reduce your chances of being diagnosed with late stage disease. A visit to the dentist is an important part of maintaining both good oral health and overall physical health and well being.

If you have been avoiding the dentist, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment, restore your oral health and get screened!