Dental checkups are not just about cavities. At La Costa Dental Excellence we look for signs of tooth decay, for those, of course, but also examine your gums and other soft tissues of the oral cavity. We also screen for indications of oral cancer.
Lung and breast cancer get a lot of public attention. There is less awareness of oral cancer, even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have contracted HPV, you have an increased risk for developing oral cancer.
At La Costa Dental Excellence, we work to elevate awareness of oral cancer and the significance of early diagnosis. Here are five important things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.
1. About 80% of individuals with oral cancer use some variety of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
2. 40% of men and women who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer pass away within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
3. In many cases, it is extremely difficult 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. HPV (the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the many strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most often linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
5. Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
An oral cancer screening is your assurance that there are no apparent problems. And should we find something suspicious, it could be a life-saver, because early treatment makes all the difference.
At La Costa Dental Excellence in Carlsbad, we also provide general and family dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry services like teeth whitening and Invisalign clear braces. Schedule an appointment with us today.
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