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Oral cancer is often a silent killer. It can easily go undetected until the later stages when it is difficult to treat. Over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with oral cancer, and almost 10,000 people die from it each year. Early detection can be a life saver, and oral cancer treatment has a high success rate when started in the early stages. At Restore Dental, we are committed to protecting our patients’ health. We offer oral cancer screening as one of our preventive oral health services at our dental center in Highlands Ranch.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer can begin in the mouth or throat. Risk factors for oral cancer include frequently using tobacco products and alcohol. Viral infections, like HPV, can also impact risk for oral cancer. Most people who are diagnosed with oral cancer are over 40, but it can occur at any age.

Oral cancer is dangerous due to its minimal symptoms. Many people may not have symptoms, but there are some that can be indications of oral cancer. These symptoms or signs include:

  • Sore throat
  • White or red spots on the gums or mouth tissues
  • A sore that does not heal (may look like a canker sore or wart)
  • Painless lump in neck or mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing, speaking or chewing
  • Numbness in the mouth region

These signs can alert you to schedule a dental exam and oral cancer screening, but there is a good chance you will not have symptoms. A better option is including an oral cancer screening with your annual dental exam. Dr. Chiu can use advanced oral imaging and testing equipment that can detect small changes in oral tissue that may not be visible to the eye and may be a sign of oral cancer.

Your oral health can affect your overall wellness. Make sure to schedule routine dental exams and include an oral cancer screening to help protect your smile and your health. Contact us at Restore Dental to schedule your next dental checkup at our dental practice in Highlands Ranch.

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