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It’s Time To Talk Mouth Cancer Awareness

While November comes with joyful festivities, like harvest and thanksgiving, orthodontists use this month to also bring awareness to mouth cancer.

Mouth cancer comprises various kinds of tumors affecting the mouth area such as: lips, salivary glands, tongue, gums, palate and inside of the cheeks. Mouth cancer can grow and spread rapidly, hence it is important that you visit your Orthodontist and General Dentist for screenings, as they are specially trained to immediately spot symptoms.

There are a number of factors that trigger mouth cancer, most common causes being the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. At this juncture, you’re probably wondering what symptoms you should be looking out for.

Before we list the general symptoms, it is important to note that during the early stages of mouth cancer you may not experience any pain, hence paying attention to the symptoms is crucial as early detection is key to successful treatment.

The most common symptoms include:

Numbness in the mouth or lips
Red or white patches
Ulcers that don’t heal within a 2-3 week period
Pain or discomfort in the mouth
Lumps and swellings of no obvious cause in the mouth or neck
Bleeding from the mouth or throat
Red or white patches inside the mouth
Loose teeth
Difficulty or pain with swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw
Persistent hoarseness or changes to the voice
Persistent coughing or the feeling that something is ‘stuck’ in the throat
Numbness or tingling of the lips or tongue
If you notice any skin patches, redness, growths or discomfort, in your mouth area, which persists over a 2 week period, you should immediately visit your General Dentist or Orthodontist.

While it is important to know the symptoms to look out for, it is far more important to learn how to prevent mouth cancer, that way you and your loved ones can continue giving gratitude for a cancer-free body.

The most common methods of mouth cancer prevention include: cutting down or completely avoiding alcohol consumption, smoking and getting an HPV vaccine while at the age of 11 – 12 yrs. old. Practicing good oral hygiene, getting your regular dental checkups, practicing good eating habits and the above listed prevention methods, should keep you healthy and mouth cancer free.

Visit us for your orthodontic needs; you get a free screening during your consultation process. You can also take advantage of the resources below, if you have any additional questions. Call us at: 516.626.2060

Additional Resources:

American Dental Association (ADA)

Mouth Cancer Foundation

2018-12-12T16:55:19+00:00November 13th, 2018|Orthodontics|0 Comments