This doesn’t mess around. In fact, data reveals that one person an hour dies as a result of it in the United States.

Oral cancer awareness and an oral cancer screening could change those startling statistics. The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that thousands of deaths occur annually due to something that can be prevented with early detection.

Oral cancer attacks the tissue in your mouth, on your tongue, or in your throat. Tobacco and alcohol use are common causes for more than 90 percent of diagnosed cases.

Data also reveals another cause not linked to tobacco or alcohol use. The human papilloma virus (HPV16) is now shown to be a leading cause for oral cancer among non tobacco and alcohol users.

Other causes are to blame as well. They include poor dental hygiene, dietary choices, and an over exposure to ultra violet radiation.

Not to be ignored

Your symptoms can give you a vital early warning. For example you might have a sore in your mouth or on your tongue that will not heal after a period of weeks.

Pain isn’t always present. The lack of healing should be an indication that something deserves a second opinion.

Symptoms of oral cancer can include:

  • Red or white skin patches in your mouth
  • A lump or thickening skin on the inside of your mouth
  • Face, neck, or mouth numbness
  • The feeling that something is caught in your throat consistently
  • Bleeding in your mouth
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Swallowing or chewing difficulty
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth

How to improve your odds

Consistent dental examinations are always an oral health essential. Your routine dental check-ups give us an opportunity to observe any abnormalities in your mouth.

An oral cancer screening is the best solution for diagnosis. The screening is painless, fast, and can be completed during your routine examination and teeth cleaning appointment.

Your oral cancer screening gives you an advantage if any symptoms require attention. Suspicious tissue will be biopsied and any necessary treatment would follow.

Early is always best. The sooner you spot the signs and receive a diagnosis the better for your health.

Contact your Knoxville dentist about any suspicious areas in your mouth. Schedule a dental examination and ask about an oral cancer screening.

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