April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral cancers are the sixth most common
cancers in the world. According to the National Institute of Health, it is
estimated that approximately 91,200 people in the US are living with oral
cancer, and approximately 37,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. 

Two known major risk factors for oral
cancer are tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption.  Giving us another great reason to give up
smoking and be healthier! Another great tip is always use sunscreen, even on
your lips. Exposure to the sun can also increase your risk of lip cancer.

While performing your daily oral hygiene
routine, keep an eye on the soft tissues of your mouth. If you develop a sore
that doesn’t heal within two weeks you should see your dentist to get it
checked out.

Oral cancer screenings are a routine
part of your dental examinations. During an exam, your dentist will carefully
examine the tissues of the mouth and tongue and take note of anything that
might be out of the ordinary. When found early, it can give you a better chance
for successful treatment.  As public
awareness and education about oral cancers increase, early detection will
improve.

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