Oral Cancer Exam at the Dentist

Cancer kills over two million people annually. Of these two million people, approximately 7,900 people will die from oral cancer. Oral cancer has a considerably high death rate because it is rarely detected in early stages.  The HPV virus has been shown to be responsible for a rise in incidence of oral cancer.

Dentists are often the first healthcare providers to recognize the early symptoms of oral cancer. This deadly disease occurs mostly on the tongue and lips. However, it can also be found on gum tissue, cheek lining, and palate. It generally will metastasize to the cervical lymph nodes in the neck. The most common form of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinomas.

Tobacco products are the leading risk factors of oral cancer. Other elements include heavy alcohol consumption, sun, and human papilloma virus (HPV). Men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women, and their risk increases after the age of 40.

In an earlier blog, our office encouraged you to begin walking and taking better care of your teeth for National Start Walking Day. Now, since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Lake Forest Dental Arts encourages you to schedule your six-month dental visit. During your exam, Dr. James Fondriest can conduct an oral screening in which he will check for sores or discolored tissues in your mouth. Contact Lake Forest Dental Arts today at 847.234.0517. Dr. Fondriest serves patients in the greater Chicago area. Don’t become another statistic, call today for an oral screening.