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  • Writer's pictureBarbara McClatchie, DDS

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Oral care specialists are a great place to start, in finding information and raising awareness of oral cancer–they highlight and screen for this disease every day. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and one in four of those cases will not have any risk factors. Also, oral oropharyngeal cancer will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.

We can change these statistics through preventative health care.

What are risk factors for oral cancer?

  • Tobacco use

  • Vaping

  • Excessive alcohol use (14+ /week for men, 7+ /week for women)

  • Exposure to HPV virus

  • High-risk oral bacteria

What are the signs of oral cancer?

  • A sore throat that doesn’t go away

  • Lip or mouth sores that bleed easily and don’t health within two weeks

  • Rough spots on your lips, gums, or inside your mouth

  • Red or white patches on your cheeks or tongue

  • Persistent pain or tenderness while swallowing

  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

  • Unintentional weight loss

Of the newly diagnosed individuals with oral cancer, only about 60% will live longer than 5 years. This is why early detection is a critical element to successful treatment for oral cancer.

How does a whole body dentist screen for oral cancer?

Screening for oral cancer is a non-invasive process at the dental office. Your dentist or dental hygienist will look closely at the inside of your mouth for any sores or abnormal patches. Additionally, they will palpate the tissues in your mouth, throat, and neck for any lumps.

If any abnormalities are discovered during your oral cancer screening, you will be referred to a specialist for additional testing. Ask your dentist for This simple and quick oral cancer screening today.

Oral cancer screening is just one of the ways that proactive dental care can save your life! Our mission is to make Complete Health Dentistry the new medical model by merging medicine and dentistry into one system.

Saliva testing is utilized in medical dental collaboration

One of the key differences between conventional healthcare and what we offer at The Heart Attack Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio and Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus is the utilization of saliva testing.

Saliva testing is one of the few objective tests available in dentistry that tests for high-risk oral bacteria that is associated with heart disease, cancers, Alzheimer's, and other medical conditions. This simple, 30 second, non-invasive test is available to you through our office.

With focus on prevention and elimination of disease, we work with you to achieve optimal oral and systemic health.

To learn more about how your oral health affects your whole body health, or to get an oral cancer screening, contact us today for an appointment.


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