Beaverton Tendercare Dental

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Understanding and Protecting Yourself from Oral Cancer

Understanding and Protecting Yourself from Oral Cancer

At Beaverton TenderCare Dental, we check for oral cancer at every dental check-up appointment. Oral cancer is of the mouth or throat. Unfortunately oral cancer will cause over 9,750 deaths this year: killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. This type of cancer is easily treatable if it’s caught early. But it’s a dangerous form of the disease because early symptoms and stages may not be easily noticed by the patient and it can spread unchecked before diagnosed. This is why it’s so important to get screened regularly by your Beaverton TenderCare dentist who is a trained expert in recognizing early signs of oral cancer.

 

Symptoms:

  • White or red patches on lips, gum, tongue or mouth lining.
  • A lump which can be felt inside the mouth or on the neck.
  • Pain or difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking.
  • Hoarseness lasting a long time.
  • Numbness or pain in any area of the mouth that doesn’t go away.
  • Swelling of the jaw.
  • Loosening of teeth.
  • Difficulty wearing dentures.
  • Bleeding in the mouth.
  • A sore on the lips or in the mouth that doesn’t go away.
  • An earache that doesn’t go away.

 

You need to get screened regardless but if you do notice any of the above symptoms, please let us know right away. These symptoms could be from other conditions, not necessarily oral cancer, but it’s critical to get your oral health assessed for any issues.

 

Higher Risk:

 

Those with human papillomavirus (HPV) or a weakened immune system are at a higher risk for oral cancer. While people 55+ are at a higher risk, actually younger, non-smoking patients under the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population.

 

Prevention:

  • Don’t use tobacco in any form. This includes smokeless tobacco.
  • Don’t drink alcohol in excess.
  • Use SPF 30+ lip balm year round when you go outside.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet. The American Institute for Cancer Research found that a diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other plant foods helps lower risk for many cancers.
  • Screen yourself once a month for oral cancer by looking at your mouth in a mirror and checking for any abnormalities.

 

Taking these prevention steps can help reduce your risk but one in four people diagnosed with oral cancer has no risk factors. That’s why it’s still crucial to see your dentist every 6 months to get regularly screened. Not to mention, getting your teeth cleaned twice a year is also necessary to nurture your smile and keep it healthy and beautiful!

 

Our eco-friendly dental office is conveniently located at 4095 SW 144th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005. To make an appointment, contact us at 503-643-4719 or email us at beaverton@tendercaredental.net.

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