Oral Cancer Awareness

Did you know that oral cancer is on the rise? Smoking and/or heavy alcohol use, aging, and contracting the human papillomavirus (HPV) are all risk factors for oral cancer.

Your dentist can check your lips, tongue, and inside your mouth to look for signs of oral cancer. And you, too, can be on the lookout for the following signs and symptoms of oral cancer and report them to your dentist between checkups:

– red or white patch;
– sore that bleeds easily or does not heal;
– thick or hard spot or a lump;
– roughened or crusted area.

Other signs of oral cancer include numbness, pain or tenderness, or a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down. Tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw.

For more information, visit the American Dental Association.