What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer
At Utah Orthodontic Care, we strive to provide all of our patients with comprehensive orthodontic care while also educating them about their overall oral health and what they can do to stay healthy. With the month of April right around the corner, it’s important to understand the risk of oral cancer. As April is oral cancer awareness month, our Salt Lake City orthodontics office and staff would like to take the time to educate all of our patients on the risk factors and the primary symptoms.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral or pharyngeal (throat) cancer can include cancer of the lips, tongue, mouth, and throat. Unfortunately, it is a cancer that will cause over 8,000 deaths this year. The fast growing group of patients being diagnosed with oral cancer are young, seemingly healthy individuals. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand the primary factors associated with oral cancer and how to prevent them. The main risk factors for oral cancer include the following:
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Having contracted the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection
Our Salt Lake City orthodontics office will continually speak to patients about their oral health and discuss these risk factors above to ensure each patient is aware of them. Additionally, dentists and orthodontists are in a particular position to do oral cancer screenings as they are consistently looking in patients’ mouths and evaluating their oral health.
Primary Symptoms of Oral Cancer
It is also important to look out for the primary symptoms of oral cancer and see a healthcare professional if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sores in the mouth that bleed or do not heal
- A thick or hard spot in the mouth
- A roughened or crusted area in the mouth
- Numbness, pain or tenderness anywhere in the mouth
If you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer, never hesitate to ask our orthodontists or staff at Utah Orthodontic Care or your family dentist. All dental health professionals will be able to recognize any irregularities in an oral health screening. It is crucial to consistently see your orthodontist and dentist to ensure you receive an early detection screening and your oral cancer is caught early.
Contact Utah Orthodontic Care for Orthodontics in Salt Lake City
To schedule your next orthodontic appointment, contact Utah Orthodontic Care. Our team is always happy to give oral health education and answer any questions you may have. Thanks to our easy and affordable orthodontic payment plans, braces and oral healthcare have never been more cost-effective! We look forward to seeing you again soon.