You wear a seat belt in the car and a helmet on your bike. The list of lifesaving measures goes on. At Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA, your dentists, Dr. Papapetros, Dr. Ristuccia, and Dr. Rigopoulos, perform quick and easy assessments for oral cancer. These visual inspections take just a few minutes, giving you and your dentist important information about your oral health.
Cancer is no joke
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the incidence of oral cancer among young adults is on the rise, affecting millions of Americans every year. Fortunately, this potentially deadly cancer can be cured if found early during a routine examination.
Who gets oral cancer?
Both men and women do, and although men seem more prone, younger women now fall prey to oral cancer at a rising and alarming rate, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Precipitating factors include:
- Age (over 40)
- Tobacco usage (cigarettes and the smokeless kind)
- Alcohol abuse (The CDC reports seven out of 10 oral cancer suffers are heavy drinkers.)
- Diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Exposure to the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, which is transmitted through sexual contact
Also, people who tan or spend too much time in natural sunlight readily develop cancer of the lips.
Checking for oral cancer
You can and should. If you notice a lump or sore that does not heal readily and is located on your lips, tongue, inside of your cheeks, back of the throat or roof of the mouth, tell your primary care physician or dentist in Bedford, MA. Unexplained loss of weight and difficulty swallowing or opening and closing your jaw are warning signs as well.
Also, be sure to get your routine, semi-annual examinations, and cleanings at Great Meadows Dental Group.
If you are concerned about a sore in your mouth, please don't hesitate to call Great Meadows Dental Group for an appointment. Drs. Papapetros, Ristuccia, and Rigopoulos value every aspect of your oral health. Phone our Bedford office today at (781) 275-7707.