April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Did you know that Dr. Bob and Dr. Jerry, along with your hygienist, screen you for cancer at every dental visit? Oral cancers can be deadly diseases. Roughly 45,000 new cases of mouth and throat cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States. Treatment may be more successful when diagnosis is early, so this is one more reason to see your dentist regularly.

Below is a list of mouth and throat cancer signs and symptoms. Check your mouth in the mirror each day when you brush and floss. If there are any changes in your mouth or neck, or if you notice any of these signs or symptoms, please be sure to contact us as soon as you can.

  • A sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
  • Lump or growth in the throat or neck area
  • Cough or sore throat that doesn’t go away
  • Earache
  • Trouble with swallowing
  • Hoarseness or other changes in your voice
  • Anyone can get cancer. There are some factors that if controlled, can decrease your risk of developing oral cancer: smoking cigarettes/chewing tobacco, heavy or frequent consumption of alcohol, and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV).

    Amazingly, when you quit using tobacco, your risk of developing oral cancer immediately decreases. After staying tobacco free for ten years, your risk of developing oral cancer is approximately the same as someone who NEVER smoked or chewed.

    Remember: as the summer months approach, and we begin spending more time in the sun, wear sunscreen and lip balm with adequate SPF daily to decrease your risk of skin and lip cancers, and schedule your checkup with the team at Hannon & Sandler today!

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