April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and we urge you to get examined today. Oral and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kill nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. The death rate for these cancers are high because they are usually detected too late. When detected early, the mortality rate for many of these cancers can be reduced.
Here are some symptoms to look for according to the American Academy of Oral Medicine.
Your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. In between dental visits, it is important for patients to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and to see a dental professional if they do not improve or disappear after two-three weeks:
- a sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
- red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
- lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
- difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
When it comes to symptoms, keep this two-three week time period in mind, but always call your dentist right away if you have any immediate concerns. Be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Early detection and treatment may well be the key to a complete recovery.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call our office at Brogdon Dental today and let us schedule an appointment for you. Don’t wait.