April National Oral Cancer Month

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation website:

“You are the most important factor in an early diagnosis. You should always contact your doctor or dentist immediately if you notice the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one:

  • A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks.
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek.
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth.
  • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue.
  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.
  • Chronic hoarseness.

These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, but they also indicate the possible presence of oral cancer. Only a professional will be able to tell you definitively. Some think that a visit to their medical doctor is the appropriate course of action. But remember that dentists are trained in this simple, quick screening, which involves the examination of the oral cavity as a whole and not just your teeth.”

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“Not only do regular dental exams help keep your teeth and gums healthy, they can help detect oral cancer, the Academy of General Dentistry says.

As part of Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April, the group recommends that people get a dental exam from a general dentist every six months.

“The next time you visit your dentist, ask about an oral cancer screening,” academy spokesperson Dr. Seung-Hee Rhee advised in an academy news release.

“Your dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues. Although you may have already been receiving this screening from your dentist, it’s a good idea to confirm that this screening is a part, and will remain a part, of your regular exam,” Rhee said.

Each year in the United States, more than 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed, and more than 8,000 people die of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (courtesy of http://www.healthday.com)

Make an appointment today to see Dr Brogdon and ask for an Oral Cancer Screening.

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