Oral cancer can be found on the roof or floor of the mouth, inner cheek lining, gums, lips, and tongue.
Most individuals aren’t even aware of their condition until it has become more severe and late-stage. Left untreated the illness can spread throughout the rest of the body and even have fatal consequences, which is why regular oral cancer screenings are so important.
One of the most dangerous realities of oral cancer is that people often overlook its warning signs.
If you are constantly experiencing any of the following, bring up your concerns with a dentist:
Soreness or lumps in the neck area
Sores inside the mouth that won’t go away
A persistent sore throat
Pain inside the mouth or near the ear area
While oral cancer can affect anyone, certain demographics are at a higher risk for the disease than others:
Tobacco users and heavy alcohol drinkers
Men (men are twice as likely as women to contract oral cancer than women, and those odds jump even higher after age 50)
Those with a family history of oral cancer
HPV infected individuals
People with poor dietary habits
Individuals with weak immune systems
If any of these describe you, it’s wise to schedule dental appointments more frequently than the suggested bi-annual visit. If you have a family history of oral cancer, we recommend scheduling a dental check-up at least every three months.
Schedule a Screening
Prevention and early detection are the most effective ways to combat oral cancer. Healthy habits, including regular dental visits, are a key component to maintaining your oral health. Remember: when you are concerned about your health, it never hurts to reach out to a medical professional.
At Dentistry at East Piedmont, we offer a complimentary oral cancer screening with every new patient exam. If you’d like to find out more about Oral Cancer Awareness Month, please call 770-609-4544 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Blog originally published April 2018 — updated November 2021.
Dr. Patel not only offers continually current state-of-the-art treatment options to all his patients here in Georgia, but he also stays connected to giving back and serving patients around the world with needs for dental care. He annually travels to foreign countries to provide dental services to children, elderly, and every age in-between in parts of the world where these services are not available to people that live there, through the highly respectable Flying Doctors of America program, of which Dr. Patel is a member of the board. Dr. Patel and his staff are consistently improving and implementing the newest technologies through the top seminars across the country. He is also a graduate of the Hornbrook Advanced Cosmetic Dentistry Continuum, which only about 5 percent of dentists worldwide have completed.