Oral Cancer Screenings are Very Important!

The type of cancer that everyone hears or reads about the most is usually cancers such as lung, breast, and brain cancers. Unfortunately, we rarely hear about oral cancer, and tend to overlook that cancer could actually develop in a person’s mouth.
In case point, even though oral cancer does not top the list of leading cancers, it too is a serious devastating disease, with a 5 year survival rate at 60% or lower. In fact, that would be more than enough reason to call your dentist and set up an appointment to get your mouth screened for oral cancer. Unlike other cancers, oral cancer signs are easy to detect at their earlies stage.
Getting checkups and oral cancer screenings is easy and inexpensive. On your next dental visit, ask your dentist for information on oral cancer screenings, and what to expect during the exam.
In order to help prevent and protect yourself from oral cancer below are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from this deadly disease….

1. Ask your dentist to screen for oral cancer on your next visit
2. Stop smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars
3. Stop using smokeless tobacco products including electric cigarettes
4. Do not consume alcohol products excessively
5. Eat a balanced diet of nutritional food
6. Avoid being overly exposed to the sun

To learn more about oral cancer and the symptoms, read this article. Also, be sure to contact your dentist today, and schedule an oral screening on your next visit.


Dangers of Tobacco

Whether it is cigars, cigarettes, or chewing tobacco, these various types of tobacco products have a real and lasting impact on your teeth. It is important you understand the dangers associated with tobacco before you choose to use those products.

Beyond just your teeth, these various different types of products have a number of negative health effects. Tobacco products have been shown to be highly addictive and to be linked at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals. Thus, tobacco can lead to cancer and other health problems like COPD.

Since tobacco is consumed however through the mouth, your teeth are especially at risk. When you use smokeless tobacco, you can irritate your gums. This may cause them to recede or become damaged. As a result, people using tobacco are at a higher risk of other oral health issues such as cavities or tooth decay. Increased sensitivity in the teeth is also common in people who frequently use tobacco products.

Tobacco use also commonly leads to oral cancer. For more information on oral cancer, see our blog post specifically on oral cancer. Common signs of oral cancer include general tenderness and irritation, pain, development of lumps or patches inside the mouth, and sores. Your mouth may also experience a change in color, and you have have trouble eating, speaking, and essentially using your jaw and tongue.

While using tobacco products is a choice, it is important you understand the risks you are taking. Your teeth and your body will be healthier and happier without tobacco products. If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer or tobacco use, contact Masters Dental today!


Here’s What You Don’t Know About Oral Cancer

In today’s world, cancer is unfortunately a common topic of conversation. However, usually when we think about cancer we think about the big ones like breast cancer, lung cancer, or brain cancer. We picture big serious tumors and crippling illness. However, the small cancerous tumors are just as critical. Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers are serious cancers that everyone should be informed about.

According to the American Cancer Society, Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer will develop in about 49,670 people in the United States in 2017, and of those people, 9,700 people will likely die as a result. While oral cancer is equally common across races, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as opposed to women.

Most often, oral cancer is found in the tongue, tonsil, oropharynx, and gum areas of the mouth, as well as on the floor and on other parts of the mouth. Nevertheless, the lips and other sites can still be spots where oral cancer develops. The biggest symptoms include consistent sores and pain in your mouth, difficulty in using your mouth for chewing and swallowing, a persistent sore throat, numbness of the tongue, and lumps or thickening in the cheeks as well as white or red patches throughout your mouth on the gums, tonsils, etc. Some signs can be as small and subtle as bad breath and constant irritation.

While genetics and other factors play a role in causing oral cancer, lifestyle is by far one of the biggest contributors. Alcohol and tobacco are two of the biggest culprits. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, about 80% of people with oral cancer use tobacco and about 70% of people diagnosed with oral cancer and heavy drinkers.

Other than making small lifestyle changes in alcohol and tobacco use, you can also reduce the likelihood of developing oral cancer by keeping up with your oral health by regularly seeing your dentist and periodically getting screened for oral cancer.

While the death rate for oral cancers have been decreasing over the past few years, education and prevention is still more important than ever to continue this trend. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is a great resource for additional information on symptoms and risk factors. For more information, be sure to contact your dentist.

Dental Visit

The Scoop On Oral Cancer

There’s one word no one ever wants to hear – cancer. However, getting all types of cancer screenings, including oral cancer, can save your life. Oral cancer can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, throat, or any other part of the mouth. If detected, early, the survival rates of oral cancer are very high. However, if it is not treated it can be life threatening.

Your dentist will always notice signs of oral cancer during routine appointments, but it’s up to you to keep an eye out between checkups. If you notice the following signs, you need to see your dentist right away:

  • Numbness or pain anywhere in or around the mouth
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Sores or swelling anywhere in or around the mouth
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your throat
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue (including difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking)
  • Pain in one or both of your ears

So who normally gets oral cancer? Although the exact cause of oral cancer is unclear, we do know some demographics about the people that typically contract it. Oral cancer is more common in men than women, specifically men over the age of 50. The use of tobacco products will greatly increase one’s chance of developing oral cancer. This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, dip, chewing tobacco, etc. Heavy alcohol use can also contribute to oral cancer, especially when combined with tobacco use. Family history, sun exposure, diet, and HPV are other factors that can contribute to your risk for oral cancer.

How will you know if you have oral cancer? It is vital to visit your dentist regularly for checkups. He or she will visually look for signs of oral cancer each time you come into the office. If your dentist sees any suspicious tissue, he or she will biopsy the area to test for cancer.

What do I do if I test positive for oral cancer? Like other cancers, oral cancer is treated by removing the cancerous tissue and using radiation and/or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Prevention is always the best method. In addition to a healthy oral hygiene regime that includes brushing and flossing, you should also limit your oral cancer causing activities. Refrain from using tobacco products, and if you choose to consume alcohol, do it in moderation. Limit your exposure to the sun and wear sunblock as well as Chap Stick that offers protection when exposed to UV rays. Eat a balanced diet, go to the dentist regularly, and be on the lookout for early warning signs. Oral cancer is not completely preventable, but these simple lifestyle chances can significantly lower your chances for its development.