April Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Since over 45,000 people will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer this year, we urge you to see us if you haven’t had a dental exam in a while.  When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems can be reduced.

Regular oral cancer examinations can help detect oral cancer in its early stages. Dental visits can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

According to the American Dental Association here is a list of signs and symptoms you should be aware of in relation to your oral health, especially if they last more than two weeks:

  • a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • red or white patches
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

If you notice any of these changes, please call our office immediately to set up an appointment.  Don’t ignore any suspicious lumps or sores that last more than two weeks. Prompt examination could make a difference.

Mouth Cancer Awareness

November is mouth cancer awareness month. Most people have heard of cancer affecting different parts of the body, but many people don’t realize that it can also occur in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. You don’t even have to have teeth to be affected. Mouth cancer is more common in people over 40, particularly men, but in recent time it is becoming more common in women and younger patients.

Most cases of mouth cancer have been linked to alcohol and tobacco, especially chewing tobacco. Used together, alcohol and tobacco create an even greater risk for developing mouth cancer.

So how can you avoid mouth cancer? Most mouth cancer can be found early by your dentist during a mouth examination. Found early, the chances of a cure are good. It’s important to visit your dentist regularly, at least every 6 months, especially if you notice any symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer include:

  • Ulcers which do not heal in three weeks
  • Red  and white patches in the mouth
  • Unusual  lumps or swelling in the mouth or head and neck area

If in Doubt – Get Checked Out
Mouth Cancer can affect anyone

 

April is Oral Cancer Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.  It is estimated that oral cancer will effect an estimated 37,000 Americans each year. Studies show that the chance of surviving oral cancer is 80 to 90% if you catch it in its early stages. 

While a cancer screening by your dentist is always best, doing self-exams at home can increase the likelihood that an oral cancer can be detected early.  Look inside your mouth in a mirror and feel the insides of your mouth, lips and gums. Don’t forget to look at the upper part of your mouth as well and your tongue and it’s surfaces.

According to mayoclinic.org:

There’s no proven way to prevent mouth cancer. However, you can reduce your risk of mouth cancer if you:

  • Stop using tobacco or don’t start. If you use tobacco, stop. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. Using tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals.

  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all. Chronic excessive alcohol use can irritate the cells in your mouth, making them vulnerable to mouth cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day if you’re a woman or two drinks a day if you’re a man.

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of mouth cancer.

  • Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips. Protect the skin on your lips from the sun by staying in the shade when possible. Wear a broad-brimmed hat that effectively shades your entire face, including your mouth. Apply a sunscreen lip product as part of your routine sun protection regimen.

  • See your dentist regularly. As part of a routine dental exam, ask your dentist to inspect your entire mouth for abnormal areas that may indicate mouth cancer or precancerous changes.

If you notice anything unusual, a sore or discolored area of your mouth that doesn’t heal, call Dr. Brogdon for an appointment to get this checked out.  We care about your dental health!

April – Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month and many pre-cancer and cancers can be found early during your routine dental examination. Unfortunately though, some cancers may not cause symptoms at all until they’ve reached an advanced stage, or they may cause symptoms similar to those caused by a disease other than cancer, such as a toothache. Many dentist recommend you routinely check your mouth for sores or anything unusual.

Some factors that can contribute to your increased risk of Oral Cancer include:

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
  •  Heavy alcohol use
  • Previous oral cancer diagnosis

If you have any of these factors or have found an unusual sore or lesion in your mouth, please let us know.  Dr. Brogdon may want to perform an Oral Cancer Examination.  The American Dental Association recommends all adults undergo periodic oral exams when they visit the dentist.

Remember you may not always experience any pain until later stages. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Call today to set up your appointment.

Stress and your Oral Health

We know that excessive stress can give you a headache, stomachache and even heart problems, but what you may not realize is that stress can affect your oral health as well.

According to WebMD stress and anxiety can affect you in the following ways:

  • Mouth sores, including canker sores and cold sores
  • Clenching of teeth and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating routines
  • Periodontal (gum) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease

Mouth sores such as canker sores can be painful and bothersome.

WebMD Defines Canker sores as “small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red — appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. Although experts aren’t sure what causes them — it could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses — they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the risk of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious.”

Relief can be found by the use of  over-the-counter topical anesthetics and by limiting your ingestion of spicy or acidic foods until they heal.

Cold sores are are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. They can also be triggered by an emotional upset.  Over the counter remedies are available.  It’s important to start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore.  Talk to our office as soon as you can.

Stress may make you clench and grind your teeth and can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).  Contact us and ask what can be done to prevent grinding problems associated with stress.  Dr. Brogdon may recommend a night guard that you wear at night when you sleep or may have other suggestions for you.

Remember, stress can affect your health in many ways.  Call us today and let us help you with stress associated with your oral health.