April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Nearly fifty thousand people in the U.S. have diagnosed with cancer in the oral cavity and pharynx annually, and nearly eight thousand will lose their battle with the disease annually. Early diagnosis is key, and screening is an important part of your dental check-ups twice a year. Understanding your risk factors is important so that you can change habits that increase your risks, and add healthy ones to help protect you. Experts tell us that a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables helps to reduce our risks, as does avoiding the sun in the heat of the day, limiting our alcohol use and avoiding tobacco.
At Finney Family Dentistry, we take your health seriously, just like you do. While screenings at your regular check-ups are an important part of the early detection, it is also crucial that you report any changes to your healthcare provider promptly as well.
The most common symptoms are listed below:

Oral cancer symptoms

Some of the most common oral cancer symptoms and signs include:

Persistent mouth sore: A sore in the mouth that does not heal is the most common symptom of oral cancer
Pain: Persistent mouth pain is another common oral cancer sign
A lump or thickening in the cheek
A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
A sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat that does not go away
Difficulty swallowing or chewing
Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
Numbness of the tongue or elsewhere in the mouth
Jaw swelling that makes dentures hurt or fit poorly
Loosening of the teeth
Pain in the teeth or jaw
Voice changes
A lump in the neck
Weight loss
Persistent bad breath

If you have any of these contact your healthcare professional today.