Oral Cancer Screening: Oral Cancer Awareness Month
Every hour, 24 hours a day 365 days a year, someone dies from oral cancer. Close to 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. Of those 54,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. This is why early detection and having your dentist screen you for oral cancer every visit, is imperative to not just your oral health, but your overall health as well.
ProGrin Dental has joined forces with Forward Science, the manufacturer of Oral ID™ to promote early detection and public awareness of oral cancer in the office. Our dentists offer enhanced oral cancer screenings during scheduled appointments to new and current patients.
Oral ID® is an adjunctive screening device that uses fluorescence technology to aid clinicians in the visualization of oral abnormalities. It is easy to use and non-threatening. Finding these abnormalities in much earlier stages can increase the 5-year survival rate up to 80-90%. Those interested in receiving an oral cancer screening or learning more about our advanced technology implemented in our offices can call or ask about our screenings at their next appointment.
“Check Your Mouth”: Symptoms
The Oral Cancer Foundation’s Check Your Mouth™ initiative has provided great resources to help you stay up to date with your oral health as much as possible at home. They say it only takes 5-10 minutes and should be done once a month.
- Examine your neck. There are many lymph nodes in this area that can help show major signs that you need further attention. Swollen areas that are not painful are a warning sign that you need to be checked by a professional.
- Examine your lips. Your lips should be uniform in color and texture. Look for visible sores that can easily be seen.
- Examine your gum tissue. Your gums should be a pale pink color. Look for any discoloration, ulceration, different textures, and any sore that bleeds when easily touched.
- Examine the inside of your cheeks. This area should be similar in color or texture. Look for any discoloration, ulceration, different textures, and any sore that bleeds when easily touched.
- Examine your tongue. Stick your tongue out and make sure you check every side. This area should be free from any sores or discoloration.
- Examine the roof and floor of your mouth. This area should be the same color and texture. Look for any discoloration, ulceration, different textures, and any sore that bleeds when easily touched.
How Your Dentist Can Help
All of our dentists in the upstate of South Carolina offer Oral ID, a quick and easy oral cancer screening for all of our patients. Early detection is the most critical when it comes to oral cancer. This is an important reminder to the public that when these cancers are detected and treated early, mortality and treatment-related health problems are reduced. Your oral health is connected to your overall well-being. We truly value our patients’ quality of life. In the end, preventative dentistry can result in less extensive – and less expensive – treatment for dental conditions for all ages. Schedule your appointment today!