April is oral cancer awareness month. Oral cancer affects over 40,00 Americans each year. Survival rates for oral cancer are worse than most cancers, not because of the disease itself, but because it often escapes early detection.
Dr Tittle and Dr Jensen do oral cancer screenings as part of the endodontic evaluation when you visit our office. In addition to seeing your general dentist regularly for checkups and exams, you can help with early detection by telling your dentist if you, or a loved one, develops any of these symptoms.
- A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks.
- 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 a feeling that something is caught in the throat.
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue.
- Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
- Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.
- Chronic hoarseness.
These symptoms can also be signs of less serious problems, but as with most diseases, early diagnosis can make the difference.