Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Keeping Our Sedona & Cottonwood Readers Up to Date On National Dentistry Observances

Burgundy and white. These are the colors that have come to represent head and neck cancers such as oral cancer. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and Arizona Smile Designers is here to tell you that now is a great time to get a Sedona & Cottonwood dentistry checkup. It is projected that more than 48,000 individuals will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. You can help spread the word to friends and family to learn more about oral cancers and how to watch for signs and symptoms.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

There are a variety of symptoms that can indicate an issue with oral cancer, but some are not obvious. Some symptoms can be painful while others are nearly painless. Here are a few common signs you, your dentist, and your physician can watch out for:

  • Numbness
  • Sores in the mouth or on the neck
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Change in the teeth

Any changes in your mouth, neck, or face that concern you should be examined by a dentist or your physician. Sometimes the only indication of a problem is a small, blotchy spot in the mouth or a seemingly painless lump on the neck. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better chance an individual has at fighting it off.

Prevention Tips

Risk factors for developing oral cancers include but are not limited to:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Family history of cancer
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco, even smokeless tobacco

The best way to be proactive against the development of oral cancer is to get screened at least once a year, just like many other cancers. This can be done easily at your dentist’s office during a routine checkup.

Share What You Know

April is ideal for getting in to see your dentist and getting screened for oral cancer. Spread the word to your friends and family, and together we can create awareness for this devastating disease.