It’s essential for people to visit the dentist to receive an oral cancer screening. It’s even more important this month, since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.
There are more than 40,000 Americans who will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute. The two most common methods by which people develop the disease are through tobacco/alcohol use and through the human papilloma virus.
Regular visits to the dentist is one of the best ways to prevent cancer from spreading and becoming a major problem. If it’s diagnosed early enough, people can have about an 80 to 90 percent chance of surviving.
Oral cancer may impact any area of the mouth, including gums, lips, cheek lining, tongue and the soft or hard palate. It generally begins as a small white or red spot that remains inconspicuous until it eventually spreads.
That’s why dentists play a large role in the early stages of oral cancer. Before it reaches other parts of the body and possibly becomes fatal, a dentist can treat the person and enable that person to heal and live a normal life.