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A visit to the dentist could save your life

April 4, 2019.TruAssure.0 Likes.0 Comments

A visit to the dentist could save your life

In 2019, it’s estimated that 53,000 people will get oral cancer and 10,860 people will die of these cancers in the United States.1

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month – a time to focus on how to prevent cancer that can develop in the mouth and back of the throat. TruAssure encourages regular dental visits to help detect symptoms early. Any part of your mouth can be affected by oral cancer.

The largest risk factors include:

  • Tobacco – both smoking and smokeless tobacco products can cause cancers anywhere in the mouth or throat2
  • Alcohol – drinking and smoking together raises the risk of oral cancer even more than drinking or smoking alone3
  • Sun exposure – excessive and unprotected exposure to the sun is linked with cancer in the lip area4
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) – it’s estimated that HPV causes 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers, or cancers affecting the back of the mouth and throat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.5,6

During a routine dental checkup, your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening and look for any symptoms that may cause concern. Symptoms include irritation, soreness or swelling in the jaw or throat; red or white patches in the mouth; and difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking. A dental visit should also be scheduled if any of these symptoms arise and last for more than two weeks.

Going to the dentist should be a part of your oral health regimen in addition to brushing twice and flossing once daily. Regular dental visits not only help you maintain a healthy smile, they can lead to early detection of oral cancer and save your life. Learn more

 

1 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
2 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
3 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/alcohol-use-and-cancer.html
4 https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/oral-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/risk-factors-and-prevention
5 https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/hpv_oropharyngeal.htm
6 https://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/hpv/hpv-oral-cancer-facts/

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