Oral Cancer

Mar 6th, 2012 | By | Category: More dental news, Preventive Dentistry

Oral CancerYou know that checkups every six months are crucial to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but you may not be aware of another very important reason to see your dentist regularly. At every checkup, Dr. Moiceanu performs an oral cancer screening in which he checks for irregularities in your mouth, face, head, and neck. Each year, about 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are discovered in the United States. Among these patients, roughly 8,000 die. Most deaths are due to not catching oral cancer in its earliest stages, so it is vitally important to receive screenings every six months from Dr. Moiceanu.

What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a term that encompasses cancers of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, lips, sinuses, and throat. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Patches in the mouth that are red, white, or a mixture of red and white
  • Sores on the lips, face, neck, or mouth that do not heal after two weeks
  • Sores that bleed easily
  • Any unusual swellings, lumps, bumps, or crusty areas in the mouth
  • A feeling of something stuck in the throat or difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness or chronic sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Earache
  • Weight loss

Who is at risk for oral cancer?

Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, with men over 50 facing the biggest risk. Other risk factors include:

  • Use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Family history of cancer
  • Diagnosis of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection
  • Poor oral hygiene

How can I prevent oral cancer?

The best preventive measure against oral cancer is to not use cancer-causing substances such as alcohol and tobacco products. In addition, you should avoid excessive sun exposure. You should also maintain a healthy, balanced diet that includes lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that help fight cancer. Lastly, maintain good oral hygiene and see Dr. Moiceanu every six months for an oral cancer screening.

If you’ve been putting off your next dental checkup, you’re also avoiding a life-saving oral cancer screening. Do not delay any longer. Call Dr. Moiceanu today at (510) 758-7222 to schedule an appointment. Hilltop Family Dental happily treats patients in Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

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