April is national Oral Cancer Awareness month and this year, Dr. Mark Sowell and our Plano, TX dental care team is raising awareness for this too often under-diagnosed disease. Oral cancer is a growing health concern in the United States. Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, and the average age of diagnosis has decreased in recent years. Studies are linking the increase in HPV to the rise in oral cancer in patients as early as in their twenties.
Oral Cancer Screenings in Dallas, TX
Early diagnosis of oral cancer is essential for effective treatment. Dentist Dr. Mark Sowell recommends that all patients visit our Plano, TX dentist office twice a year for oral cancer screenings, a part of your routine dental care. Oral cancer screenings take less than two minutes to complete and can save your life .Dr. Sowell will survey the gums, lips, and cheeks to check for any indicators of oral cancer.
Risk Factors: Oral Cancer
- Age May Matter: oral cancer has been shown to increase in patients after the age of 44. New studies are showing oral cancer in patients in their twenties, especially men. Adult dentist visits are important in maintaining your oral and overall health.
- Tobacco In Any Form Increases Your Risk: Whether your smoke, vape, or chew, tobacco use may drastically increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Tobacco use also increases your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and cardiovascular disease.
- Know Your Exposure to HPV: If you have been exposed to HPV, or have been diagnosed with HPV you are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Be sure to let your Craft Smiles dentist know if you have HPV.
If you fall into one of these groups, Dr. Sowell may recommend that you perform additional at home oral exams every few months. Paying close attention to the condition of the soft tissues in your mouth as well as your teeth can help find oral cancer early. If you notice any of the below symptoms and they persist for up to two weeks, be sure to call our Plano, TX dentist office to schedule an oral exam.
Signs of Oral Cancer
- Numbness in tongue
- Change in the fit of your bite or dental restoration
- Difficulty with swallowing or feeling of something stuck in your throat
- Red or white patches
- Small sores, or thickening of soft tissue
- Tenderness or pain in lips or gums
Preventive Dental Care
Dr. Sowell provides their patients with advanced dental technology and compassionate and quality dental care. State-of-the-art dental technology helps our Sensational Smiles dental care team diagnose advanced dental concerns early so they can provide conservative and effective treatment.
Preventative dental care is your best defense against oral cancer. Be sure to schedule your visit to Sensational Smiles by filling out our online form, or contact our Plano dentist office.