April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

April 25, 2016

oral cancer screening in 06877This month, the team at Dana Jones DDS is focusing on oral cancer awareness. Chances are good you don’t think much about the disease that kills one American every hour — but you should. Learn more about the risk factors for oral cancer, and what you can expect from an oral cancer screening in 06877. The doctors at Ridgefield Perfect Smile Center are here with everything you need to know!

Risk Factors of Oral Cancer

While all adults should undergo regular oral cancer screenings, these examinations are especially crucial for patients who have one or more of the risk factors of the disease. Educate yourself and ensure that you or a loved one receive what could be life-saving early detection.

Risk factors for oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco use of any kind
  • Alcohol consumption combined with tobacco use
  • Prolonged UV exposure
  • Use of an ill-fitting denture
  • A previous oral cancer diagnosis

Your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening alongside your regular checkup and cleaning — and there’s never been a better time to receive an exam than during April, as we promote oral cancer awareness!

Oral Cancer Screening: What To Expect

An oral cancer screening doesn’t take any preparation on your part. Just let your dentist know you’d like to undergo a screening at your dental appointment, and we’ll take care of the rest.

To begin your screening, your dentist will ask you a series of questions to learn important background information. For example, have you noticed anything unusual with your mouth lately? Have others commented on your changing voice or face shape? It’s important that you communicate thoroughly and openly through this portion of the screening. After all, no one knows these details of your oral health better than you.

After this initial portion of the screening, your dentist will perform a visual and tactile examination of your facial and oral structures. The goal of this portion of the examination is to look for the following signifiers of oral cancer.

  • Lumps in the mouth or throat
  • Irregular bumps or sores in the mouth
  • Rough patches in the mouth
  • Red or white lesions in the mouth or on the lips
  • Facial asymmetry

If your dentist finds anything suspicious, a biopsy will be recommended to determine whether the area is cancerous.

Practice Prevention and Early Detection

You can help reduce your chances of developing oral cancer with certain lifestyle changes. Quitting tobacco use, cutting back on alcohol and reducing your exposure to sunlight can all help.

And don’t forget to practice healthy habits by undergoing an oral cancer screening alongside your checkup and cleaning every six months! Have you had one this year?

Schedule your appointment for an oral cancer screening today!

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