Oral Cancer Awareness Month: What You Should Know About this Deadly Condition

April 9, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsong @ 8:36 pm
3D illustration depicting oral cancer

In case it isn’t marked on your calendar, you should know that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. This is an opportunity for oral health professionals to talk to their patients about this condition, helping them become as knowledgeable as possible about it.

Oral cancer is unfortunately rather common, and it’s important to detect the condition early if you want the best chance of mitigating its effects. Here’s what you should know about what oral cancer looks like, its causes, and what to do if you’re concerned about the condition.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

While it’s not easy to say definitively what causes people to develop oral cancer, there are some key risk factors that it’s important to be aware of. For one, it’s been found that older men are at much higher risk for the condition, particularly over the age of 50. While they’re far from the only ones that can contract the disease, this demographic should be especially vigilant.

Substance use also dramatically increases your risk. Alcohol and tobacco use have been shown to lead to oral cancer, so cutting back on these negative habits can do a lot to decrease your risk of the condition.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Cancers are difficult to diagnose as a layperson and can easily be mistaken for something more benign. While you would need to talk to a dentist for a diagnosis, here are some signs of oral cancer that you ought to be on the lookout for:

  • Persistent Mouth Sores
  • Lump or Thickening in the Mouth or Throat
  • White or Red Patches
  • Pain or Numbness in the Mouth
  • Difficulty Chewing or Swallowing
  • Jaw Swelling
  • Sore Throat or Feeling that Something is Caught in the Throat
  • Change in Voice
  • Weight Loss
  • Ear Pain

On their own, each of these symptoms can be a non-issue. However, if you notice several of them, or if you find that your issues don’t fade over time, it’s important to talk to your dentist. They’ll perform a thorough oral cancer exam in order to determine whether your symptoms indicate something serious.

About Our Practice

At Sunrise Dental, we know that dealing with oral health problems can sometimes be a little bit intimidating. We want to take the stress out of dental work, so whether you’re coming to us for a routine exam or something more substantial, we’ll do what we can to ensure your comfort. The experience of our patients is central to everything that we do, so you can be sure that each aspect of your treatment will be personalized to your needs.

If you have any questions about oral cancer, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (713) 869-9973.