Dental Checkups Are Not Just About Cavities
At Chesterfield Smile Design, we urge people to come in twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. If you skip biannual dental checkups because you don’t believe you have any cavities, perhaps getting an oral cancer screening is a more compelling reason to see your dentist regularly.
In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have received a lot of public attention. Patients are less aware of oral cancer, even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have acquired HPV, you have a higher risk for developing oral cancer.
At Chesterfield Smile Design, we work to elevate awareness of oral cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. Courtesy of the CDC, Oral Cancer Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are 5 important things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.
1. About 80% of people with oral cancer use some kind of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
2. 40% of people who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer pass away within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
3. In many cases, it is practically impossible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce indistinct symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be analyzed by a dentist or doctor.
4. HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the many strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most frequently linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
5. Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
Contact Chesterfield Smile Design: 314-254-8458
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