November Is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month
There are many holidays that we celebrate in the fall. Although it may not be a holiday you were thinking of, November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month. This is an initiative that was started to make people aware of mouth cancer and the importance of early detection and treatment. Mouth cancer can affect all areas of the mouth, including the lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums. It can lead to serious complications, such as tooth loss, difficulty talking and eating, and facial deformity. One important reason we are so passionate about routine preventive care in our office is because it gives us the opportunity to check for signs of mouth cancer.
How to Check for Mouth Cancer
Although we check for signs of cancer when you visit our office for oral hygiene examination appointments, it is important to continue to check your mouth for signs of a problem throughout the year. When looking at your face and head, you want to look for any lumps or swelling on one side of the face. You also want to look and feel for lumps along the front and sides of the neck. Inside the mouth, look for changes on the tongue. Check your tongue for changes in color or texture. Along with a visual inspection, be sure to use your fingers as well and feel your lips for bumps, the roof of the mouth for lumps, and squeeze your cheeks to check for tenderness. You may see problems such as:
- Mouth ulcers that will not heal
- Red and white patches on the tongue or inside the cheeks
- Changes in color of the lips and tongue
Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it is important to be mindful of your oral health and any changes you may notice. If you notice a problem mentioned above or it has been some time since your last oral hygiene examination, now is a great time to schedule an appointment. If you are in Spring Hill, FL or the surrounding area, be sure to contact our office, and we will help. We hope to see you soon!