April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

oral-cancer-screening.pngA very important part to regular dental visits is an oral cancer screening which is included in all 6 month dental check-ups in our office in Boise, Idaho.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 49,750 people in the US will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year – 132 every day. One person every hour a day will die from it.

Detecting Oral Cancer

As with many cancers, early detection is crucial and can result in an 80-90 percent recovery rate. Keeping up with your preventative care schedule (most dentists recommend a professional cleaning every six months to one year) allows for consistent screenings by your dentist.

The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes. During the screening, Dr. Dave will check the inside of your mouth for sores, red or white patches or changing tissues. He will use  gloved hands to check for lumps or other irregularities in the tissues. If an abnormality is found, further tests such as a biopsy, dye test or light test may be performed.

The two major risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol use. Anyone who has ever had a prior diagnosis of any oral cancer is also considered high risk. Oral cancer is most likely to be detected by your dentist and early detection and proper diagnosing are imperative to successfully fighting this disease.

If you have concerns about lumps or discolorations in your mouth, contact your dentist. Call today to schedule your next check-up and oral cancer screening in our office. (208) 402-1040