April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
Posted on 04/18/2016

April is a month full of new life and growth. It is also a time when the dental community hopes to raise awareness for oral cancer. If you notice an influx of burgundy and white colors around our Chicago & Glenview dentistry practice, it's because it's Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and we hope to help you and everyone else who will listen understand the signs and symptoms of this unpredictable cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

Oral cancer affects the mouth and neck areas mostly. While there are some signs and symptoms that can be painful, many can actually be painless. This is why it is important to understand your body and have regular dental and physical checkups. A few common symptoms include:

  • Ear pain
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Numbness in the neck, mouth, or face
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Appearance of white, red, or blotchy patches in the mouth
  • Lumps or swellings in the mouth or neck

Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer over women. Every hour, someone dies from this disease. It is estimated that over 48,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2016 alone. People who smoke, use tobacco, drink alcohol, spend a lot of time in the sun, have been exposed to human papillomavirus, and have a family history of cancer are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer.

The Perfect Time to See Your Dentist

April is the perfect time to go see your dentist and urge your friends and family to have their checkups as well. Awareness for oral cancer is relatively low when compared with the awareness of other types of cancers. One of the reasons it is so deadly is because it is usually not caught until the late stages. With increased awareness, everyone has the potential to get screened and diagnosed early with a more positive prognosis. So come in to Yummy Dental for your screening today, and start spreading awareness for oral cancer to your family and friends.