Why do we do that?
Because oral cancer is a very serious disease. It’s been estimated that one American dies from oral cancer every hour, and that it claims more lives nationwide than cervical or skin cancer.
But, you might be thinking, how can I be at risk for oral cancer when I don’t smoke or use any tobacco products at all?
It’s true that tobacco use is the biggest risk factor. Excessive alcohol consumption is another. But more and more, doctors are seeing cases of oral cancer in patients with none of these primary risk factors. That’s because these new cases, in both women and men, are caused by HPV.
Which is why Drs. Ann and Richard Bonness don’t want to take any chances. During a regular checkup, all of our patients are screened for signs of oral cancer, because the sooner it can be diagnosed, the more effective treatment can be.
We’re looking for a number of things. One is a flat, painless, white or red spot, or a small sore. Other symptoms include:
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
- A color change of the oral tissues.
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small, eroded area.
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.
It takes time for these symptoms to develop, though, which means that you could have oral cancer without knowing it, making regular checkups that much more important.
Do you need to schedule a checkup with Dr. Ann or Richard Bonness? Call our Camby dental office today to schedule an appointment with us. We serve patients from Mooresville, Plainfield, Indianapolis, Monrovia, Martinsville, and beyond.