Heartland Dental Blog

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Oral Cancer Awareness

How Supported Dentists Ease Dental Phobia

How Supported Dentists Ease Dental Phobia

09/08/2017

At Heartland Dental, we're proud to help our supported dentists and practices grow to be the absolute best they can be. While most of our dental support services take the form of administrative support or marketing materials, we also thrive by providing our supported...

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During the month of April, the dental industry has been celebrating Oral Cancer Awareness month. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, in 2017, approximately 49,750 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer. This means about 132 new individuals are diagnosed with oral cancer each day and at least one person dies every hour of every day from oral cancer. In recent years, the rate of new cases has been stable in men and dropped slightly in women, but there has been a recent rise in cases of oral cancer due to the rising incident of human papillomavirus (HPV), especially among the younger demographic. Based on data from the United States cancer registry, over 63% of oral cancer cases are now associated with the HPV infection.

Oral cancers occur most often in the following:

  • Tongue
  • Tonsils and oropharynx
  • Gums, floor of the mouth and other parts of the mouth What does this mean for you? The good news is that when found in the early stages, oral cancer has an 80 – 90% survival rate. Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness about the disease, oral cancer isn’t discovered until late in its development making the death rate of oral cancer high. Early detection and treatment are a matter of life and death.

What does this mean for you? The good news is that when found in the early stages, oral cancer has an 80 – 90% survival rate. Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness about the disease, oral cancer isn’t discovered until late in its development making the death rate of oral cancer high. Early detection and treatment are a matter of life and death.

Start having conversations with your dentist about oral cancer, and stay educated! Many dental offices offer oral cancer screenings, which can detect suspicious or unusual tissue in just a few minutes. Research shows that less than 15% of those who visit the dentist have an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screenings are just as important as the annual screenings you might have done to check for cervical, breast or prostate cancer.

Besides an annual screening, here are some other tips from dentists for reducing your risk of oral cancer:

  • Stop/don’t start using tobacco.
  • Always brush and floss your teeth regularly.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables.
  • See your dentist regularly.

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