Did you know that oral cancer is the silent killer of one American every hour? Oral cancer is the type that occurs in the head and neck region of your body, excluding your brain, which has its own category of cancer.
Surprisingly, this is cancer that we don't hear much about, and what's worse is that the statistics haven't improved much over the years. The reason for that is because oral cancer is often not detected until it reaches its later stages, which reduces your chances of a good prognosis.
Here's what you should know about oral cancer.
The Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is very tricky to detect on your own because there aren't many symptoms or much pain at first. Oral cancer can also look very much like a harmless canker sore, making it easy to overlook.
Here are some signs and symptoms to be aware of:
- A small white or red patch of tissue in your mouth or on your gums
- A lesion or sore in your mouth that doesn't go away within 14 days
- A lump or mass in your mouth or neck
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, or chewing
- Numbness in your face or your mouth
Remember, to detect oral cancer, you are your own best advocate. If you see any changes in the health of your mouth, neck, or facial region, don't hesitate to contact your dentist for an oral cancer screening.
Prevention Protects Your Health
Your best defense against oral cancer is your routine preventive checkups with your Metairie dentist every six months. Your dentist can detect the signs of oral cancer early on when you have a better chance of successfully treating the condition because they screen you for it during every preventive examination.
Protect your dental health by calling your team at Oak Family Dental today and scheduling your next preventive teeth cleaning and checkup.