At Salt Lake Dental Care – Clint Blackwood DDS we urge patients to come in at least twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. Sometimes patients skip these dental checkups because they believe that they don’t have any cavities, however, your dentist in Murray isn’t just checking for cavities. Our staff is also checking for signs of oral cancer during your dental visit.
Dental Checkups Are Not Just About Cavities
In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have drawn a lot of public attention. There is relatively less awareness of oral cancer even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States.
At Salt Lake Dental Care – Clint Blackwood DDS, we work to raise awareness about oral cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. Courtesy of the CDC, Oral Cancer Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are 4 vital things you should know about oral and oropharyngeal cancers.
1. About 80% of individuals with oral cancer use some type of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
2. 40% of men and women who receive a late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer die 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 inconspicuous 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. If you have tested positive for HPV, you have a higher risk of developing oral cancer. 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.
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