At Sundance Dental & Orthodontics in Farmington NM, we want to see our patients twice a year. We look closely at the health of teeth and gums, but we do more than that: we also screen for any sign of oral cancer.
You don’t need to be told that cancer is a serious business. Some fifty thousand Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and of those, about a fifth of them will die. They occur twice as often in men as in women. If there’s any good news, it’s that the death rate for oral cancer has been declining over the last thirty years.
If you’re tempted to skip your dental checkups because you don’t believe you have any cavities, think twice.
Here are some important facts about oral cancer:
- About 80% of people with oral cancer use some variety of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
- 40% of individuals who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer die within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
- In many cases, it is almost impossible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce inconspicuous symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be examined by a dentist or doctor.
- HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the numerous strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most often linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
- Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
Early detection is the key to beating oral cancer, and a screening from Sundance Dental & Orthodontics in Farmington NM will give you the peace of mind you deserve. We also provide family and restorative dentistry. Call today to schedule an appointment.