The prevalence of oral cancer is on the rise due to its association with HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that affects about one-third of the population. Men are the largest growing demographic and are finding themselves with oral cancer related to HPV after decades of being asymptomatic.
With growing awareness of the link between HPV and oral cancer, many people are choosing to vaccinate their children against this common virus, but 40 percent of the population still do not seek HPV vaccinations for their kids – a disturbingly high number since treatment for oral cancer can be invasive and lengthy.
People who smoke cigarettes or marijuana are more likely to develop oral cancer. Alcohol use also increases the risk dramatically.
Oral Cancer Screening
Your dentist is often the first to detect suspicious lesions within the mouth or neck that could be early indicators of cancer. At WisconsinSmiles, a regular oral cancer screening is part of our comprehensive approach to dentistry and an effort to detect serious conditions before they threaten your oral health or your life.
If you ever notice a lesion within the mouth that lasts for more than a week, it is time to have it checked. Oral cancer lesions may or may not feel painful, so it’s important to be aware of the geography of your mouth. Lesions can be red, purple, white, or even black. You will probably also notice that we lift the tongue to look for anything suspicious there.
Lesions may also form for other reasons unrelated to cancer, but will typically go away on their own after a few days.
We also feel it is important to share new information with our patients regarding their oral and overall health. If you are interested in finding a dentist in Milwaukee, WI who takes a proactive approach to health, we invite you to contact WisconsinSmiles today.