This April, we’re celebrating Oral Cancer Awareness Month by doing what we do best, which is helping you be as informed as possible about all factors of dental health.
Today, we’re devoting the blog to oral cancer, the importance of screenings and early detection, and the common risk factors you should know.
Our team at Friendly Smiles Center wants to always do our part to help you stay healthy, which is why we provide oral cancer screenings as part of your routine care in our Mount Laurel, NJ dental office!
Fighting Oral Cancer Starts With Early Detection
Regarding any type of cancer, early detection is key to successfully overcoming it.
At Friendly Smiles Center, we want your chances for survival should oral cancer affect you to be as high as possible. That’s why we’ve invested in the latest in advanced technology in our Mount Laurel, NJ dental office.
Our screenings for cancer in the mouth is thanks to a small, handy tool called an intraoral camera.
We use it for all sorts of reasons, and that’s because it provides unmatched clarity in digital imaging so we can see the inside of your mouth far more clearly than ever before.
It helps us see if a tooth is damaged or compromised in any way, and it also helps us spot signs of cancer undetectable with the naked eye.
Many dentists will offer oral cancer screenings on a once or twice annual basis as part of your routine dental cleaning and exams.
The best way to find out if your screenings are covered by insurance is to call your provider and ask!
We never want money to stand in the way of your dental health, so we accept various payment methods, offer different payment options, as well as work with many insurance companies.
*No One Is Completely Safe From Oral Cancer*
Just because you don’t fall into a high-risk demographic, it’s important to realize that anyone can develop cancer in the mouth.
Your chances do worsen as you age, but generally speaking, we all should be vigilant with our annual oral cancer screenings!
*Common Oral Cancer Risk Factors*
Again, we want to stress that anyone can develop oral cancer.
But there are certain people who are at a much higher risk for the disease, which makes routine screenings even more important.
Here are some of the more common risk factors to be aware of:
This is probably the most obvious factor.
It may come as know surprise, but cigarette smokers make up about 80% of oral cancer patients.
The best thing to do to reduce your risk for mouth cancer, and for the sake of your health overall, is to quit all tobacco use.
*Excessive Alcohol Consumption*
Heavy drinking is incredibly damaging to your body, which you already know. But in relation to mouth cancer, people who consume alcohol in excessive amounts are at a greater risk.
That risk rises significantly if you combine heavy drinking with smoking.
If you needed one more reason to quit both unhealthy habits, there it is!
With the spread of sexually transmitted infection, namely HPV, comes an increased risk for developing oral cancer. What’s especially frightening about this fact is that of the people who have HPV, too many of them don’t even know it because it’s often asymptomatic, especially in men.
While HPV seems to occur rather equally among men and women, it appears that it’s the women who are at a higher risk for consequential mouth cancer in this case.
Traditionally, the research has consistently pointed to the over-50 portion of the population as being more at risk.
However, recent studies are showing a growing trend that includes younger and younger adults being diagnosed with this disease. Many experts seem to attribute that to the spread of HPV and its impact on overall oral cancer risk levels.
The Value Of Oral Cancer Screenings
Like most dental problems, oral cancer doesn’t always announce its presence in your mouth.
At least, not initially.
But by the time you may notice signs or symptoms, the disease has likely advanced to a dangerous level.
We’re not trying to use cheap scare tactics to compel you to make an appointment.
But we do want to be open and honest with you about your best strategy for preventing the spread of mouth cancer.
And it’s critical that you let us help you by administering routine oral cancer screenings at Friendly Smiles Center.
The sooner we can catch it, the better your chances for overcoming oral cancer and other risks to your health.
The screening process itself is easier than ever, thanks to our modern intraoral camera that provides crisp, clear images of every nook and cranny of your mouth. It’s amazing how quick and simple this life-saving detection method is in our Mount Laurel, NJ dental office!
Make An Appointment
We talk a lot in our dental blog about the importance of routine cleanings and exams, mostly as they relate to gum disease detection and prevention.
But that’s not to suggest that we don’t go beyond that particular health threat when we exam your mouth for problems and warning signs.
Part of your regular visits in our Mount Laurel, NJ dental office involve oral cancer screenings that could end up saving your life, not just your smile.
So we sincerely hope to see you at least twice a year for these check-ups and want to know how we can help support you in that commitment.
Reach out to Dr. Chase and our caring team if you have questions or concerns about your oral cancer risks or other dental problems. Call Friendly Smiles Center today at 856-359-4000 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.