878 Walnut St San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

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Spring Greetings from your SLO Smiles family dental team!

Aside from enjoying the longer days, blooming flowers, and warmer weather, April is all about oral cancer awareness. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 53,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year—that’s 132 people diagnosed every day. Even more alarming is the fact that one person every hour of the day will die from it.

Like many other cancers, smoking and tobacco increase risks, alongside excessive alcohol usage and the connection to the HPV virus. Signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Any sore or ulceration that does not heal within 14 days.
  • A red, white, or black discoloration of the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Any abnormality that bleeds easily when touched.
  • A lump or hard spot in the tissue, usually border of the tongue.
  • Tissue raised above that which surrounds it; a growth.
  • A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, does not heal.
  • A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth.
  • A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck, that has been there for at least two weeks.

If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to reach out to a dental office as soon as possible to schedule a screening. If you don’t already, scheduling regular oral cancer examinations with your family dentist is the best method for detecting oral cancer in its early stages.

While you are your own best advocate, active patients at our office do receive oral cancer screenings yearly at one of their bi-annual cleanings.

Here at SLO Smiles, we are passionate about what we do, and take the time to get to know our patients and personalize each of our appointments. We believe that dentistry isn’t just about a gorgeous smile and clean teeth—it is about maintaining whole body health and preventing disease. From flexible scheduling to tailored treatment plans, get in touch today to schedule screenings for you and your family.

Office Hours
  • Monday7:00am - 7:00pm
  • Tuesday7:00am - 7:00pm
  • Wednesday7:00am - 7:00pm
  • Thursday7:00am - 5:30pm
  • Friday7:00am - 2:00pm
  • Saturday8:00am - 12:00pm
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Start fresh. Schedule your appointment now.

New patients are always welcome at SLO Smiles. Evening and weekend appointments are available to make your busy life easier. Our friendly San Luis Obispo dental team looks forward to meeting you!