When was the last time you visited our office for a hygiene examination and cleaning? If it has been longer than six months, we recommend scheduling an appointment sooner rather than later. Besides cleaning and inspecting your teeth for decay, we also inspect for other conditions that can affect not only your oral health, but your overall health as well. One condition we look for is oral cancer.
Important Information About Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect any part of the mouth, including the lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, and the roof and floor. It is important to inspect your mouth between appointments in our office as there are a number of warning signs that may indicate a problem, including:
- Discomfort or tenderness in the gums, cheeks, or tongue
- A sore or irritated area that does not heal
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- A lump or rough spot in the mouth
Risk Factors for Developing Oral Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 54,000 people will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer in 2021. While there will be a number of patients who do not have any risk factors upon diagnosis, there are far more patients who can make a change to their lifestyle to lower their risk. Men over the age of 50 have the highest risk of developing this disease. While this is not something that can be changed, maintaining regular hygiene appointments is imperative to inspect for any changes in your oral health. Other risk factors include:
- Use of chewing tobacco
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Excessive sun exposure or use of tanning beds
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Poor oral hygiene routine
We hope this encourages you to schedule your next hygiene appointment if it has been longer than six months since your last visit. If you have any questions about oral cancer screenings or would like more information, please call our office located in Brunswick, GA today. We are more than happy to help you.