April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s the time of year to educate and raise public awareness about this deadly disease that affects thousands of Americans each year. The dentists at Jacqueline S. Brown, DDS, in Honolulu, HI, understand that routine dental screenings are the best way to treat oral cancer. They are here to discuss a few of the most important facts about this disease.
3 Facts About Oral Cancer
Smokers Are High Risk
Smokers have a high risk factor for developing oral cancer. This is because the chemicals in cigarettes can lead to genetic changes in the mouth cavity, turning the cells cancerous. Other risk factors include heavy alcohol use and HPV, which is a sexually transmitted virus.
The Most Common Symptom Is a Mouth Sore
The most common symptom of oral cancer is a painful mouth sore that won’t heal. You may also experience white or red patches appearing on the gums and cheeks, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and jaw swelling. While these symptoms are also caused by other conditions, it’s important to make an appointment with a dentist right away for a diagnosis.
Early Diagnosis Improves the Chances of a Successful Treatment
The most effective way to control and treat oral cancer is through early detection. When oral cancer progresses to more advanced stages, it can spread to the rest of the body. During a routine screening, the dentist will perform a visual and physical examination of the mouth to search for symptoms of abnormal cells.
Scheduling regular visits to the dentist is the most effective way to detect and treat oral cancer if it is still in its earliest stages. For the premier dental care provider in Honolulu, HI, turn to the team at Jacqueline S. Brown, DDS. They offer a full suite of general and cosmetic dentistry services, including teeth cleaning, root canals, and dentures. Call (808) 949-5644 to make an appointment, or visit their website for more information about becoming a patient.