April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month – Here’s What You Can Do!

Many of us understand the importance of regular dental visits, but did you know you should also include regular oral cancer check-ups in your examinations? This deadly problem often goes undiagnosed due to the lack of awareness, which decreases one’s chances of being able to defeat and survive it. In fact, according to the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM), it is estimated that 40% of those diagnosed with oral cancer do not survive more than 5 years after detection. Those who are able to survive after a late detection suffer serious lifelong complications, including facial disfigurement. As such, every April, the AAOM seeks to shine a spotlight on this terrible disease to encourage others to be examined for oral cancer. Doing so can save your life and spare you the pain of living with any severe and permanent consequences.

Learn About the Symptoms

One of the best ways, aside from regular cancer screenings, you can increase your awareness regarding oral cancer is by knowing the symptoms associated with this condition. The more aware you are, the more likely you will be able to detect oral cancer early enough to have it effectively treated. Early detection is your best chance of achieving a full recovery with minimal or no lingering health complications.

Here are the most prominent symptoms of oral cancer you should be aware of:

  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, speaking, or any other jaw and tongue movements
  • Soreness or irritation in your mouth
  • The presence of lumps or crusty eroded areas
  • White and red patchy areas in the mouth or on your lips that are tender or painful
  • Changes in how your teeth fit together

There are also certain risk factors you should be aware of that might increase your chances of developing oral cancer, which include:

  • HPV
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking

Oral cancer has a high death rate, but this is largely due to the fact that many patients do not discover their condition until it is in its later stages, decreasing the chances of successful treatment or a complete recovery. Encourage your close friends and family members to get regular oral cancer screenings to ensure that, if they do have this disease, it can be detected early and addressed effectively.

Call Our Office for an Oral Cancer Screening Today!

If you have never received an oral cancer screening, there is no better time to start than today. At the Family Dentistry of Knoxville, our dental care providers are committed to providing exceptional service and personalized solutions that best suit their health needs. Do not hesitate to schedule an oral cancer screening today, especially if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms. A check-up could potentially save your life or spare you years of painful complications.

Call the Family Dentistry of Knoxville at (865) 383-1017 to request an oral exam and learn more about our other services and how we can assist you.