Keeping Scheduled Dental Appointments Can Save Your Life

Close up of a dental tooth in a woman's mouth

AN ESTIMATED 37,000 AMERICANS will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Approximately 7,300 people will die from oral cancer this year in the United States alone. Here at Dental Partners of Boston, we want to do all we can to help prevent and detect oral cancer in our patients.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Researchers have found a few different things that increase a person’s chances of getting oral cancer. For example, men are two times more likely to get oral cancer than women. Some other risk factors are:

  • Tobacco – About 90% of people who have oral cancer have used tobacco, whether it is smoking or smokeless tobacco.
  • Alcohol – About 75-80% of people with oral cancer reported drinking alcohol. The combination of tobacco and alcohol use is particularly lethal.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that causes different types of cancer. A high correlation has been found between those infected with HPV and oral cancer.
  • Ultraviolet light – Prolonged unprotected exposure to sunlight can lead to higher risks of cancer.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, please call us and make an appointment!

  • Sores in your mouth that last more than two weeks
  • Lumps or thickening of the cheeks
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Numbness of the tongue or jaw

We Screen For Oral Cancer At Your Regular Visits

We conduct oral cancer screenings at every regularly scheduled cleaning. That’s one of the many reasons that it’s so important to keep your regular, preventative dental appointments. Oral cancer is deadly, but your odds of beating it are MUCH better with early detection.

If you have any concerns, contact us to schedule an appointment. Thanks for your trust in our practice!

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