April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month In Orlando FL
We hope that you are having a great spring season thus far, and we look forward to seeing your smiling face in one of our dental chairs, some time soon. Whenever you come to Overmeyer Family Dental for those routine dental cleanings and oral exams , we are prepared to check your mouth out for several things.
We are looking for evidence of cavities. Statistics tell us that you are likely to get at least one over the course of a lifetime. We are also looking for signs of gum disease (like swollen/bloody gums). Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. And we are especially interested in looking for anything abnormal that could suggest that you are in the early stages of oral cancer.
Since April is oral cancer awareness month, we’d like to share some helpful information about this potentially deadly condition. Keep reading, and then be sure to give us a call at (407) 871-3143 to request your next checkup with Dr. Overmeyer and the rest of our caring and compassionate team.
Facing The Facts
Even if you are diligent about your hygiene and keeping your appointments with us, there is a lot that can happen in your mouth in between your visits to our Orlando office. The fact is that thousands of Americans will develop oral cancer this year, and no one we know ever expects it to happen to them.
That’s why we think you should also know the warning signs so that you could know if you might have oral cancer early enough to do something about it. Keep in mind that these symptoms may not mean that you do have oral cancer for sure, but it’s better to be able to self-diagnose enough to know when you ought to get checked by a professional.
Here are some things that generally serve as red flags:
- Problems swallowing
- Trouble with chewing, or moving your tongue
- A persistent or lingering sore throat
- Red patches or white patches in your mouth
- Sore lips or numb lips
- An aching ear
- Sores in your mouth
Minimizing The Risks
When talking to patients about oral cancer prevention, there is one risk factor that comes to mind far more than any other: tobacco use. Here’s some free advice: if you don’t use it, don’t start. And if you do use it, make an effort to stop.
Tobacco use is linked to nearly 90 percent of all new oral cancer cases, according to various health sources. And none of the tobacco products on the market are “safer” when it comes to this condition.
Alcohol abuse is the second leading cause of oral cancer. And so it follows that using tobacco products while using alcohol products drastically increases your chances of developing oral cancer.
Sun poisoning can also come into play, so you won’t want to bathe in the sun on spring break or any other time.
Another important risk factor is HPV or the human papillomavirus. For some patients, HPV is no big deal, but for others it can lead to oral and/or other cancers. If you know you have been exposed to it, you’ll need to keep up with your oral exams.
Calling Your Dentist
We hope you have been inspired to keep your mouth clean and your smile looking great by keeping us in the loop. Like we said, when it comes to detecting oral cancer, those regular checkups at our office might just save your life. Call Overmeyer Family Dental in Orlando, FL today at 407-603-3839 or fill out our online form to request an easy appointment.