Oral Cancer Awareness Month: What You Should Know & the Importance of Preventative Dental Health

woman being evaluated by dentist for oral cancer

April is here, which means it’s Oral Cancer Awareness Month—a month dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about the prevention, early detection, and treatment of oral cancer. WithExternal link opens in new tab or window 1 in 60 men and 1 in 141 women at risk for developing this cancer within their lifetime, it’s important to know the facts about External link opens in new tab or windoworal cancer awareness and understand how you can prevent it.

What is Oral Cancer and How Can You Tell If You Have It?

With over aExternal link opens in new tab or window 60% survival rate, oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that affects any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor, roof of the mouth, and throat.

Symptoms that arise that are a good indicator you may be suffering from the disease include the following:

  • Soreness in the throat or mouth that doesn’t go away

  • White or red patches in the mouth

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing

  • Numbness in the face

  • A lump in the mouth or neck

Who is at Risk for Developing Oral Cancer?

Although anyone can get this cancer, External link opens in new tab or windowsome people are more susceptible to it. For example, those over 45 years of age, heavy smokers, chewers, and drinkers. And as you saw in the statistics at the beginning, oral cancer is more common among men than women.

Are There Ways to Prevent It?

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk ofExternal link opens in new tab or window developing oral cancer. The most effective way to prevent this cancer is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. To be specific, this means:

  • Avoiding tobacco and alcohol use

  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables

  • Practicing safe sun exposure (using SPF protection when going outside)

  • Regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings

These are all key elements in prevention and oral cancer awareness, as practicing healthy habits helps to reduce the risk of developing it. Additionally, you should also be aware of any changes in your mouth or throat, and contact a doctor if you have any signs or symptoms mentioned above.

What are Preventative Dental Methods That Keep You Healthy?

Preventative methods go beyond brushing and flossing your teeth; they also include regular External link opens in new tab or windowvisits to the dentist. During these checkups, your dentist will look for any signs of cancer and other dental issues.

Regular scans and cleanings can be the difference between catching an issue early and letting it develop to a point where it’s too late. To ensure that you are getting the most thorough preventative care, make sure to visit a trusted dentist like the ones at External link opens in new tab or windowNorth Pole Dental.

Take Preventative Measures with North Pole Dental

This Oral Cancer Awareness Month is the opportune time to schedule your regular checkups and screenings with North Pole Dental. We understand the importance of preventative care and helping you stay healthy. Our experienced dentists will ensure that your oral health is in tip-top shape, catching any potential issues before they have a chance to develop.

Remember, prevention is the key to staying healthy!External link opens in new tab or window Contact us today to schedule your appointment.