April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

At Lakewood Ranch Dental oral cancer evaluations are performed routinely at each semi-annual dental hygiene appointment. Your dentist will examine the oral tissues in and around your mouth, under your tongue, and in the back of your throat. Additionally, your dental hygienist is also evaluating and looking for any abnormalities or concerns. Early detection of any cancer is important! It leads to a better chance of curing altogether. Taking the appropriate steps to live a low-risk lifestyle is the best defense against developing oral cancer. Having good oral hygiene, routine dental visits, and oral cancer screenings will allow for early detection and higher survival rates.


Some Risk Factors :

  • Excessive alcohol consumption (drinking more than 15 drinks per week could increase the chance of developing oral cancer)

  • Excessive sun exposure – use of SPF lip balm of SPF30+ recommended.

  • HPV viral infection.

  • Poor diet in fruit and vegetables- the antioxidative properties and nutrients found in veggies and fruit help ward off many illnesses in general including but not limited to oral cancer.

  • Socioeconomics-. Though not entirely understood why, less access to exams/routine checkups, regular care, healthier diets, and habits may attribute.

  • Tobacco use – smoking and smokeless one of the GREATEST culprits!!


Some Signs and Symptoms:

In many circumstances, there is often no discomfort associated with the area. Many times the cancer is often present without symptoms and therefore examinations and early detection can help improve prognosis.

  • Any sore not healing within 14 days. (Noncancerous sores in and around the mouth like canker sores, cold sores, lacerations, cuts, or bites typically will heal in 7 – 14 days.)
  • Difficulty in eating, swallowing, speaking
  • Ear pain on one side only
  • Jaw swelling or stiffness
  • Lump or thickening of the tissues
  • Numbness/ tingling
  • Pain
  • Voice changes or prolonged hoarseness
  • White or Red patch of the tissues that are newly developed

Make a difference in your life and someone’s life. Help encourage friends and family members to visit the dentist regularly. Call us today or text #941-907-8300