Don’t Be Foolish About Oral Cancer
We take pride in providing quality general dentistry in our office.
Because of this, we can help you with a lot of problems. We provide restorative services to fix broken, chipped, and lost teeth.
We provide orthodontic options to correct teeth alignment problems, and we offer cosmetic services to make your smile look even better.
But we also check for bigger problems, like the warning signs of oral cancer.
Denise DiBona DDS wants every one of our patients to keep coming back to our dentist office in Red Bank, NJ, for years to come.
Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we want you to know to know the symptoms and common causes of oral cancer.
What To Watch For
This year, an estimated 9,575 people will die as a result of oral cancer in the United States.
And each day, 132 people will learn that they have been diagnosed with this disease, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation.
Catching oral cancer in the early stages greatly increases your chances of survival.
In the early stages, you may notice one of a few things. If you see these symptoms, please plan to visit a doctor:
- A sore that does not heal after 14 days
- Discoloration of your soft tissues. This may be red, white, or both.
- Hoarseness that does not go away
The following symptoms could be a sign that the cancer has progressed and should be considered a reason to visit your doctor as soon as you can:
- Pain when swallowing
- A feeling like something remains stuck in your throat
- A mass or lump in your mouth or neck
- Numbness in your mouth or face
- Constant ear pain on one side of your face
Reducing Your Risk
In 93 percent of oral cancer cases, the cause can be identified. That 7 percent means there is no way to completely eliminate your chances
You can reduce your risk by being aware of the most common known causes and acting accordingly.
> Don’t Use Tobacco
Tobacco has been connected to a number of cancers, and it is easily the leading cause of oral cancer. In the United States, 75 percent of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer after the age of 50 are tobacco users.
Tobacco products contain several toxins, many of which are known carcinogens. These chemicals can be and are absorbed into the soft tissues of your mouth and throat.
> Limit Alcohol Consumption
Next to tobacco use, heavy alcohol use is the second leading cause of oral cancer in the U.S. Unfortunately, many people who smoke also consume alcohol, which can compound the problems of both substances.
Alcohol is known to dry out the soft tissues of your mouth. This dryness makes it easier for the chemicals in tobacco to penetrate those soft tissues.
> Get Vaccinated If You Can
In recent years, you may have read or seen news stories about vaccines against the human papillomavirus or HPV. Health experts estimate that 80 percent of Americans will be exposed to this virus in their lifetimes.
The virus is harmless to 99 out of 100 people, but for that unlucky one person, HPV has the potential to develop into cervical or oral cancer. The vaccines against HPV are effective only if a person receives it before he or she contracts the disease.
For this reason, health experts recommend receiving the HPV vaccination before a person is sexually active. Talk to your doctor to find out if you or someone you love is eligible to receive the vaccine.
> Eat Fruits And Vegetables
The healthier you are, the better chance your body has of fighting oral cancer. Fruits and vegetables provide the nutrients you need to remain as healthy as possible.
> Protect Yourself From The Sun
Using a sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher is a good step in reducing your risk of developing skin cancer. Be sure you protect your lips as well to protect against oral cancer.
Improve Your Odds
The staff at the office of Denise DiBona DDS wants nothing more than to keep seeing your smiling face for years and decades to come.
During routine cleanings and examinations at our dentist office in Red Bank, NJ, we will watch for anything out of the ordinary and let you know right away. Early detection and early treatment of oral cancer will help.