Oral Cancer Awareness Month


unite believe cure oral cancer postcard p239331615116172626envli 400 Modern Dentistry — #1 Professional Dentists in Brooklyn Oral Cancer Awareness MonthApril is Oral Cancer Awareness Month: Regular Visits to a Dentist provide Early Detection, which can save your life!

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, which is responsible for approximately 8,000 deaths annually. Common risk factors for oral cancer include use of tobacco products (smoked and smokeless), excessive alcohol consumption, and HPV infection.

As a commitment to oral cancer detection, our dentists Modern Dentistry screen each and every patient for Oral Cancer during routine dental visits. We also have additional diagnostic tools such as Vizilite Plus, a specially designed light technology that can help detect oral cancer.

Oral cancer screening is a routine part of each dental examination here at Modern Dentisry. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.

During the examination, the dentist may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless, but testing can tell them apart.

Dentists often will notice a spot or sore that looks harmless and does not have a clear cause. To ensure that a spot or sore is not dangerous, your dentist may choose to perform a simple test, such as a brush test. A brush test collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth. The cells are sent to a laboratory for analysis. If precancerous cells are found, the lesion can be surgically removed if necessary during a separate procedure. It’s important to know that all atypical and positive results from a brush test must be confirmed by additional testing.

Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth. It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, check lining, tongue and the hard or soft palate.

Warning signs include:

  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
  • A color change of the tongue or mouth tissues
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat

People who use tobacco have a high risk of oral cancer. Combining alcohol with tobacco greatly increases the risk. Prolonged exposure to the sun also increases the risk of lip cancer.

When detected early, the survival rate for oral cancers is around 80 percent, but all too often, it’s discovered too late. It’s important to identify any abnormalities as early as possible, when the cancer is most treatable, which means that regular dental care and oral cancer screenings are critically important.

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