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Oral Cancer - Not Just a Senior Citizen's Disease

Posted on 6/3/2024 by Sola Smile Co
Older Black couple smiling after appointment at Sola Smile Co. in Austin, TXHave you ever thought about oral cancer? It's likely not the first thing that comes to mind when considering your health. However, ignoring this potentially life-altering disease could have severe consequences.
While many associate oral cancer with older adults, the truth is, it can affect anyone, regardless of age. In fact, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the number of young adults diagnosed with oral cancer is on the rise. This concerning trend underscores the importance of understanding this disease and taking preventative measures.

Dispelling the Myths

One common misconception is that oral cancer only affects smokers or heavy drinkers. While these factors do increase the risk, they are not the only culprits. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, is now the leading cause of oral cancer, particularly among younger generations.

Another misconception is that oral cancer is easy to detect. Unfortunately, early-stage oral cancer often goes unnoticed because symptoms are subtle or mistaken for other conditions. This is why regular oral cancer screenings by a dental professional are crucial for early detection and successful treatment.

Recognizing the Warning Signs

Oral cancer can manifest in various ways. It may appear as a non-healing sore, a white or red patch in the mouth, a lump in the neck, or difficulty swallowing or speaking. If you experience any of these symptoms, don't delay seeking professional advice.

Taking Action for Oral Health

Here's how you can take charge of your oral health and reduce your risk of oral cancer:
1.  Schedule regular dental checkups and oral cancer screenings.
2.  Practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing regularly.
3.  Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
4.  Get vaccinated against HPV.
5.  Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Remember, oral cancer is a serious disease, but it is preventable and treatable when detected early. By being proactive and taking the necessary steps, you can safeguard your oral health and overall well-being.

Don't Wait, Take Action Today!

Make oral health a priority. Schedule your next dental appointment and discuss your risk of oral cancer with your dentist. Remember, early detection saves lives.
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