As your trusted dental team in Marietta, we care about every aspect of your smile. While our services are tailored to protect the health of your mouth or improve the appearance of your teeth, we also recognize the importance of identifying oral cancer.
Oral cancer can affect any area of the mouth including the lips, gum tissues, cheek lining, tongue as well as the hard or soft palate. While there are certain lifestyle factors that can put you more at risk than others, no one is exempt from this type of cancer. At Marietta Dental Professionals, we can perform early detection oral cancer screenings at your routine dental appointment.
Statistics Don’t Lie
To improve your knowledge and awareness of mouth cancer, we’d like to share the following general statistics:
- According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 54,010 new cases of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers will be diagnosed in the United States in 2021.
- Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women.
- Oral cancer most commonly occurs in people over the age of 50, although it can occur at any age.
- Tobacco use (including smoking and smokeless tobacco) is a major risk factor for oral cancer.
- According to the American Cancer Society, people who smoke are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers.
- People who use smokeless tobacco products have a 50 times greater risk of developing oral cancer than non-users.
- Heavy alcohol consumption is also a risk factor for oral cancer, especially when combined with tobacco use.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer.
- The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is around 65%, but it can vary depending on the stage of the cancer and other factors.
- Oral cancer can affect any part of the mouth, including the lips, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, and roof of the mouth.
- Regular dental check-ups, self-examinations, and awareness of the warning signs of oral cancer can help in detecting it early and improving the chances of successful treatment.
Lifestyle Choices That Increase Your Risk
While oral cancer can affect any person at any age, there are certain lifestyle habits and factors that can increase your risk for getting oral cancer, such as the following:
- Tobacco Products
- Drinking Alcohol
- Oral HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
- Poor Diet
- Excessive Sun Exposure
Know the Signs of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a serious condition that affects the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat. While it should not always be fatal, it can be if it is not detected and treated early. This makes it crucial to understand what to look for when identifying oral cancer. If you notice the following warning signs of mouth cancer, please call our office:
- Sores or Ulcers that do not Heal
- Red or White Patches
- Swelling or Lumps
- Pain or Discomfort
- Difficulty Swallowing or Speaking
- Difficulty swallowing or speaking can also be a sign of oral cancer.
- Changes in Voice (raspiness or hoarseness)
- Unexplained Weight Loss
If you experience any of these warning signs, we want to see you for an evaluation as soon as possible at our Marietta office.
Regular Dental Visits Are a Must
Not all oral cancer patients have visible signs or symptoms. Therefore, routine dental visits become even more important. At Marietta Dental Professionals, we conduct oral cancer screenings as part of your regular dental exam. It is a painless and quick evaluation that can save your life!