Oral cancer is a potentially fatal type of head and neck cancer, affecting nearly 50,000 people in the United States each year. It can occur in any part of a person’s mouth and throat, including the tongue, gums, salivary glands, and the pharynx – the cavity behind the nose and mouth that connects them to the esophagus.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and the doctors at Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry agree that the key to survival is recognizing and treating oral cancer symptoms at their very onset. Our South Shore and Brookline, MA, teams work tirelessly to ensure that Smileboston’s patients receive optimal care and are on track to exemplary oral health.
Causes of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer was once thought to be limited to smokers, but recent studies show there may be other risk factors involved. While long-term tobacco and alcohol consumption still remain the leading causes, newer research links oral cancers to the human papilloma virus version 16 (HPV-16). Untreated mouth sores, chewing and swallowing troubles, a painful jaw, and a growth along the mouth’s lining are some early indications of oral cancer.
Screening is Key
While the course of action for treating oral and oropharnygeal cancers requires input from experts specializing in various medical disciplines, screening is critical to early detection and survival. In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Smileboston would like to remind you that getting screened for oral cancer is both simple and imperative. Patients at Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry are screened annually for oral cancer using cutting-edge VELscope™ diagnostic technology, whose powerful blue beam is capable of detecting the earliest signs of abnormalities.
Call our offices at (617) 277-4100 (Brookline) or (781) 826-7577 (South Shore) if you have any any questions related to oral cancer. Visit our website for further details or call to schedule an appointment.