April is Oral Cancer Month, and it’s an excellent time to discuss why dental health is so important. The primary reason to recognize Oral Cancer Month is that the disease is preventable. That’s why this month focuses on raising awareness about the signs of oral cancer and ways to keep your dental hygiene in tip-top shape, so you never have it at all. Even if you’ve heard of this disease, you may not know the symptoms or preventative measures. To give you a starting point when it comes to oral cancer and dental health here’s some information to help.
Signs of oral cancer
Oral cancer is not something that should be ignored because it can be life-threatening. It includes cancers of the tongue, floor of the mouth, cheeks, and other areas around the mouth and throat. Some of the symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Patches of white and red developing in the mouth
- Sores around the face, mouth, and neck that don’t heal easily
- A hard time swallowing and chewing, and sometimes speaking
- Dentures not fitting like usual or teeth changing how they fit together
- Bleeding occurring in the mouth
- Loose teeth
Beyond what’s listed above, you may also notice ear pain, numbness, or tenderness. If you ever notice any issues out of the ordinary like loose teeth and pain around your gums and mouth, don’t hesitate to contact a dentist. The sooner the issue is addressed, the faster treatment can be administered, and you can enjoy good oral health again!
Dental health is going to be vital to prevent oral cancer and all of the complications that come with it. Here are a few practices you should be applying now to prevent oral cancer and other diseases.
Visit the dentist for regular checkups. Regular cleanings not only keep your smile bright, but they prevent diseases. Also, a dentist can detect the early signs of oral cancer.
Keep up with at-home dental care. Use the best practices in your bathroom like flossing once a day and brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.
Make good lifestyle choices. Cigarettes and tobacco products that are put in the mouth should always be avoided. Also, avoid alcohol and eat a diet that is rich in nutrients.
You’ve probably heard the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” These words couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to oral cancer. By taking your dental health seriously and making a few changes in your life, you can have excellent oral hygiene.
This April, Contact Lowes Island Dentistry to schedule a cleaning and learn more about how to prevent cancer and disease!