Minimize Your Oral Cancer Risk

In recognition of Oral Cancer Awareness Month this April, we are reminding our patients of ways you minimize your risk. Oral cancer is the general term used for cancer located on the floor or roof of your mouth, in your gums, on your tongue, on your lips, or in the back of your throat. 

Know The Signs And Symptoms

Oral cancer is the most common type of head and neck cancer. Early detection is important; you want to catch it before it spreads to other parts of your body. To increase the likelihood that it’s caught early, keep a lookout for these signs and symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Flat white or gray patches in your mouth or throat (Leukoplakia)
  • Slightly raised or flat red patches (Erythroplakia)
  • Red and white patches (Erythroleukoplakia)
  • Sores inside your mouth or on your lip that bleed easily and don’t heal within 10-14 days
  • Rough or crusty spots on your lips, gums, or inside of your mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, pain, or tenderness on your face, neck, or in your mouth
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Earache
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)

Quit Tobacco

The single most effective way to reduce your oral cancer risk is to quit tobacco. Using any kind of tobacco product, including cigars, cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco, significantly increases your risk of developing cancer of the mouth or lips.

At Charlotte Dentistry, your health and well-being are our top priority. If you’re having trouble quitting tobacco, reach out to one of our team members for support and helpful resources. 

Cut Back On Alcohol

Heavy alcohol consumption can also increase your oral cancer risk, especially when consumed together with tobacco. With alcohol, moderation is key. 

See Your Dentist For Regular Checkups

Seeing your dentist at least every six months for checkups and cleanings is one of the best ways to minimize your risk of oral cancer. When you visit our Charlotte, NC dentist office for a checkup, we examine your mouth for any changes so that we can detect precancerous spots as early as possible. 

Protect Yourself From The Sun

Spending too much time in the sun without proper protection can not only harm your skin, but it increases your risk of oral cancer by exposing your lips to harmful UV rays. Reduce your oral cancer risk by using suncreen and lip protectant with SPF 30 or higher anytime you’re outdoors. 

Be Proactive And Reduce Your Oral Cancer Risk

By consciously avoiding the things mentioned above, you can significantly reduce your oral cancer risk and maintain your health and well-being. For more ways to protect maintain good oral health, call Charlotte Dentistry at 704-285-0846 to schedule your appointment in Charlotte, NC. You can also online.