April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. At Aa Dentistry we are concerned with your total health not just your teeth. At each hygiene visit, the doctor and hygienist perform an oral cancer screening exam. This exam includes checking the soft tissues in you mouth especially the most frequent oral cancer sites-

-your tongue

-the floor of your mouth

-your soft palate and roof of your mouth

-your lips

-your gums

If a suspicious area is noted we will do a biopsy here in the office or refer you to an oral surgeon for further diagnosis.

Signs of oral cancer include:

-A red, white or discolored patch or lump in or around your mouth

-a sore that bleeds easily or that does not heal within 2 weeks

-an area that has thickened, raised, or become hardened

-a rough patch of tissue

-difficulty chewing or swallowing

-a chronic sore throat or hoarseness

To minimize the chances of developing oral cancer consider these lifestyle changes:

-Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco

-Avoid excessive use of alcohol

-Exposure to the sun can cause cancer of the lip

-The HPV family of viruses can cause cancer in the mouth and throat. HPV infection is spread through sexual contact.

With regular exams you can maintain your oral health and overall health.