April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
The American Academy of Oral Medicine asks that you be aware of the following symptoms of oral cancer. If these symptoms do not go away in two or three weeks, give us a call. We’ll want to check it out.
• Sore or irritation that won’t go away
• Red or white patches
• Pain, numbness or tenderness in the mouth or lips
• Thickened tissue or lumps
• Rough or crusty spots; eroded-away areas
• Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking
• Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
• A change in how your teeth fit together when your mouth is closed
There are several factors that research shows can lead to oral cancer. They include heavy drinking and smoking (especially if you’re over 50). Oropharyngeal cancer is related to the sexually-transmitted human papillomavirus 16 (HPV).
Nearly 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer in 2019, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation, and the survival rate is not good. Approximately 43% will pass away within the next 5 years simply because oral cancer is difficult to discover or diagnose. Unfortunately, it is often not discovered until late in its development.
The best results come from early detection and treatment. If you notice any of these changes in your oral health, contact your dentist immediately.
Schedule your Oral
If you’ve never had an oral cancer exam, April is the perfect month to schedule one. And in the future, make this part of your twice-yearly dental checkup.
Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim, DMD
11876 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 101
Reston, VA 20191