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Have You Had An Oral Cancer Screening?

Posted on April 21st, 2020

For a number of reasons, and especially at this time, our team at Atlanta West Dentistry hopes that you, your family, and your friends are happy and healthy. We also want you to stay healthy as long as possible.

We’ve all seen how quickly lives can change as a result of illnesses. COVID-19 is an example that everyone has experienced. But we’ve also seen how oral cancer has affected patients and the people who love them.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, so we want to take a moment to remind you that we provide oral cancer screenings at Atlanta West Dentistry when you visit us for a dental cleaning and exam.

Early detection can make a huge difference.  With this disease, 80 to 90 percent of people survive when it is discovered in the early stages. The next time you schedule a dental appointment, we welcome you to call (770) 635-5336 our office in Marietta, GA.

Watch For Potential Signs

Routines dental check-ups are invaluable for your long-term oral health. While we will be watching for symptoms, you can benefit from being aware of issues. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, here are some signs to know:

  • Swelling, lumps, or bumps in or around your mouth
  • Patches of white and/or red tissues
  • Oral ulcers that don’t get better
  • Unexpected bleeding in the mouth
  • A persistent sore throat or hoarseness
  • Teeth that become loose suddenly

In the late stages, you may notice abnormal issues with your tongue or lips. Your airway feels likes it’s obstructed or like you have something stuck in your throat.

Understand Your Risk

Health experts report that the cause of oral cancer is known in 90 percent of cases. This information can help you reduce your risk of developing this disease.

Far more than any of factor, tobacco use is easily the leading risk factor for this disease. Health professionals estimate that tobacco affects 75 percent of oral cancer cases. It also doesn’t matter whether you smoke, chew, or dip. Quite simply, avoiding tobacco is one of the best things you can do.

The second-leading factor is something that surprises many people. Having 21 or more alcoholic drinks per week also raises your risk of oral cancer. Drinking while using tobacco further raises your risk. Alcohol can out the soft tissues of your mouth. This makes them more vulnerable to cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco products.

HPV (the human papillomavirus) also can lead to cancer in 1 percent of people who contract it. The same virus that can lead to cervical cancer in women can cause oral cancer for similar percent of all people. Talk to your family physician about the vaccine for HPV for you or someone in your family.

Come See Us When You Can

We do hope that you will be able to visit Atlanta West Dentistry soon. Get an oral cancer screening as part of your next dental cleaning and exam. Call (770) 635-5336 or contact us online to request your appointment.