How to tell if you have Oral Cancer

Categories: Oral Health

how to tell if you have oral cancerSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Oral cancer isn’t widely discussed but can be just as deadly as other, more well-known cancers. Oral Cancer Awareness Month is in April, and you know what that means; it’s time for an oral cancer screening. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry wouldn’t be surprised if you had never heard of oral cancer, oral cancer awareness month, or if you’d never had an oral cancer screening. However, we also know that you can’t afford to be in the dark about oral cancer any longer. That’s why we put together this list of oral cancer facts, risks, and warning signs.

Oral Cancer Facts

Nearly 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer this year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral cancer will cause more than 9,750 deaths: that’s approximately one person per hour every day. The most disturbing statistic, however, is that out of those 53,000 newly diagnosed people, only slightly more than half will be alive in five years.

Does that mean you won’t survive an oral cancer diagnosis? No. The reason the death rate associated with oral cancer is higher than other types of cancers isn’t that it is harder to discover, diagnose, or treat. The high morbidity rate can be attributed to the fact that oral cancer routinely gets detected late in its development. By that time, it’s had the opportunity to spread throughout the body. In its early stages, oral cancer is exceptionally receptive to treatment. In fact, 84 percent of people diagnosed with early-stage oral cancer survive. The problem is that only about 27 percent of people with cancer receive an early diagnosis.

Know the Signs of Oral Cancer

When it comes to oral cancer, prevention is your best defense. And the best way to prevent oral cancer is to see a dentist regularly. Your general dentist in Scotts Valley knows every nook and cranny of your mouth. If you’re attending your bi-annual dental check-ups, then you’re going to have a regularly updated record of your oral health. Any changes will be easy to identify. In that case, oral cancer shouldn’t be as threatening. However, the vast majority of American adults don’t see their dentist every six months, as the American Dental Association recommends. That’s why, if you’re one of the many people not regularly visiting their dentist, you should have an oral cancer screening done in April.

You also can look out for certain warning signs of oral cancer. If you see any of these, schedule a screening.

The signs we’re talking about include:

  • Lip or mouth sore(s) that won’t heal
  • White or reddish patch inside of your mouth
  • Abnormally loose teeth
  • A growth or lump inside your mouth
  • Oral tissue discoloration
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • An area in your mouth that is painful, thickened, rough, crusted or beginning to erode

Oral Cancer Screenings in Scotts Valley

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is here for you. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Don’t skin your screening! Our dentists Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian perform oral cancer screenings using OralID, a state-of-the-art diagnostic test that uses a special blue fluorescent light to identify potential cancerous or precancerous spots. This screening can be performed in just a few minutes. You don’t have an excuse: get screened for oral cancer. Your life could depend on it. If you’re located in the areas of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, or Los Gatos, California, contact our office today to schedule your oral cancer screening. Call us at (831) 438-4411 or visit our website.