If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to schedule a professional dental cleaning and exam. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and you can get an oral cancer screening during your checkup.
That’s just one thing you can do to fight this disease. Here are three more tips you can do in between dental visits.
Around 54,000 people will be diagnosed this year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Tobacco use is the leading cause of this disease. Abstaining from tobacco or quitting use can greatly reduce your risk.
We know vaccines have been in the news for other reasons more recently, but a vaccine could help you or someone in your family. HPV can lead to oral and other cancers for some people. However, the HPV vaccine can protect you or someone you love from getting infected. Talk to your doctor to find out who in your family is eligible.
In between your checkups, you can conduct self-checks. Keep an eye out for your symptoms:
- Lumps or rough spots on the soft tissues of your mouth
- Sores that haven’t healed after a couple of weeks
- Pain or difficulty eating, speaking, and swallowing
- Patches on the soft tissues of your mouth that appear red, white, or speckled
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together