November is Mouth Cancer Action Month

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Your friendly San Luis Obispo dentists at SLO Smiles want to you to know the facts when it comes to an important whole-body health issue, mouth cancer.

The number of people being diagnosed with mouth cancer has grown significantly (by nearly a third) over the last decade. It’s estimated that over 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer in the U.S. every year.

Now that’s serious. It’s also preventable, which is why Mouth Cancer Action Month is so important this November. Awareness and early detection can and does save lives. So let’s jump straight to what you need to know.

Mouth Cancer 101

Cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage to surrounding tissue. Mouth cancer typically appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. Unfortunately, it can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. Know the warning signs:

Know that if you or someone you love has early warning signs, there are proactive steps you can take to prevent the disease:

You Have the Power to Prevent Mouth Cancer

Take an active role in your whole-body health.

Prevention Dos
  • Regularly check your mouth, lips, cheeks, head, and neck for anything out of the ordinary
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Limit your sun exposure to the sun (repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, especially the lower lip)
  • Use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin and lips
  • Visit your dentist regularly – dangerous spots or sores in the mouth are often small and challenging to see on your own, and early detection improves the chance of successful treatment
  • Schedule screenings – The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for people over 20 and annually for those over 40
Prevention Don’ts
  • Don’t leave a mouth ulcer unattended for over three weeks
  • Don’t ignore lumps, swellings or discolored patches in your mouth
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
Are You At-Risk for Oral Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as compared to women. The truth is, men over 50 face the greatest risk. If you have questions about mouth cancer, warning signs, or your potential risk – please don’t hesitate to contact our responsive dental care team anytime.

Awareness Makes A Difference

Now that you know the facts about mouth cancer, we hope you’ll share this post with the people you care about. Awareness really does make a difference, as does proper dental care. If you’re turned off by the clinical environment found at many dental offices and you’re looking for a family-friendly atmosphere designed with your utmost comfort in mind, schedule an appointment today at (805) 541-0550. Our SLO Smiles family would be honored to care for your family.

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  • Thursday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday7:00am - 2:00pm
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New patients are always welcome at SLO Smiles. Our friendly San Luis Obispo dental team looks forward to meeting you!