With April being oral cancer month, periodontists and doctors across the nation work to spread awareness about the deadly nature of oral cancer. Oral cancer is estimated to be diagnosed in nearly 42,000 Americans each year, and occurs in the mouth or throat. This common form of cancer is commonly found to develop on cheek tissue, the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, tonsils, trachea, and lips.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Any medical professional will agree that yearly screenings for abnormal tissue in the mouth and throat are necessary to discover oral cancer at an early stage. While periodontists and doctors play an important role in finding oral cancer, every person needs to keep specific symptoms in mind which include:

  • numbness
  • discoloration in the mouth
  • sores which don’t heal
  • lumps inside the mouth and throat
  • difficulty chewing or swallowing food

Who’s at Risk?

Oral cancer most commonly affects people who use tobacco products or drink alcohol, but it has also been discovered in people who don’t use either substance.

Treatment for Oral Cancer

The treatment for oral cancer varies with each case and may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Make a point of visiting your periodontist as recommended to ensure that you are properly screened for oral cancer each year. It is also important to avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and using tobacco products to drastically reduce your chances of developing oral cancer.