Oral Cancer Awareness month in Fairbanks, Alaska

10 Apr Oral Cancer Awareness Month in Fairbanks, Alaska

Did you know April is Oral Cancer Awareness month? Specifically, from April 8th through April 15th, free oral cancer screenings are being offered all around the United States. Since screenings are free and early detection is key for optimal health, why not schedule a screening with your favorite Fairbanks Family Dental Care dentist? Like any form of cancer, Oral Cancer sounds scary, but by scheduling regular dentist appointments you can make sure to preventively monitor your oral health. Continue reading to learn more about Oral Cancer Awareness month in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Who is at risk of Oral Cancer?

Unfortunately, when it comes to oral cancer, everyone is at risk. But certain factors are shown to increase the chances of getting oral cancer. These include:

  • Exposure or use of tobacco products
  • Exposure to alcohol, especially in addition to tobacco products
  • Your chances are higher if you have HPV, Human Papillomavirus
  • Physical trauma to your mouth
  • Infectious diseases
  • Poor dental/oral health
  • Poor Nutrition

By scheduling your biannual dental cleanings, you’re giving yourself the best chance of early detection in the event of a problem. Seeing a dentist regularly is the best form of preventive care for any gum, mouth, or tooth condition. When you do your dental cleanings, your dentist will look for any lumps, white spots on your tongue or gums, redness or irritation of the gums or mouth, and any other abnormalities. Our dental cleanings accomplish much more than just keeping your teeth clean. They are also essential for ongoing preventative care.

In between dental visits, you can also perform an at-home exam on yourself by following these steps:

  1. Remove dentures (if you wear dentures)
  2. With freshly washed hands, feel inside your lips and along your gums for any lumps
  3. Use a mirror and bright light to check the roof of your mouth
  4. Stretch your cheeks out to thoroughly inspect the inside of your cheeks for redness, spots, bumps, or sores
  5. Look at the top and bottom of your tongue, as well as the floor of your mouth
  6. Feel your lymph nodes under your jaw and in your neck for any swelling

If you do a self-exam at home and find anything suspicious, don’t be alarmed, but do make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Not all lumps, bumps, and scrapes are a cause for concern, but it’s best to seek licensed medical professional input immediately. Our staff at Fairbanks Family Dental Care is available to answer your questions or concerns about oral cancer, or about any other aspects of oral care. It’s Oral Cancer Awareness Month in Fairbanks, and we’re reminding you to check for possible oral issues. Take care of your oral health now, for a brighter, whiter future.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/1/2017)  MinJae Kim (Flickr)