Oral Cancer affects nearly 50,000 Americans a year. Oral cancer remains a highly dangerous cancer due to late diagnosis and a lack of early intervention. April is Oral Cancer Awareness month as sponsored by various health organizations and the American Dental Association (ADA). Dr. Andrew Cobb encourages all patients to participate in oral cancer screenings at least twice a year, a painless procedure, an oral cancer screening could save your life.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Dr. Cobb provides an oral cancer screening during your routine visits to our Washington, DC dentist office. This quick, painless exam lasts for only two minutes. Early diagnosis of oral cancer is the most effective way to provide conservative treatment. Many patients avoid their biannual dental checkups and therefore forgo their oral cancer screening. Visiting the dentist twice a year can help protect you against a whole range of advanced oral health concerns.
Common Signs of Oral Cancer
It is important to monitor your own oral health between dental visits. Stay diligent with your oral hygiene routine and take note of any changes that may occur in your mouth, face or neck. If you are at high risk for oral cancer this can be especially important. These are some risk factors that may make you a high-risk patient:
- Tobacco Use: Of any king, smoking, chewing or vaping all increase your oral cancer risk
- Gender: Men are typically more likely to develop oral cancer
- HPV: Patients diagnosed with or exposed to HPV may be at a higher risk
- Age: While younger patients are beginning to be diagnosed with oral cancer, most patients are above the age of 45
- Alcohol: Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop oral cancer
If you notice any of the following symptoms, and they persists for 14 days, be sure to contact our Washington DC dentist office immediately. While some of these symptoms could be an indicator of oral health concerns, it is still important to have them examined by Dr. Cobb to avoid further damage to your oral health.
- Sore throat or feeling of something caught in the throat
- Thickening of soft oral tissues
- Noticeable red or white patches in the mouth
- Numbness of the tongue
- Swelling in the jaw area
- Change in the fit of dentures
- Difficulty swallowing
Schedule A Consultation
Oral cancer screenings are just another reason to schedule your dental check up with Dr. Cobb in Washington, DC twice a year. Routine dental care not only keeps your smile healthy but can also provide the opportunity to spot early signs of larger health concerns such as oral cancer. As your dentist, we consider ourselves a partner in your overall health care, helping you to enjoy the best quality of life every day.