Why Oral Cancer Cases Are Rising, and Why You Should Get Screened
When I ask, "What's in your mouth?" Most people look at me with their head cocked to one side and a look onÂ their face that says, "you're strange." Well, I may indeed be strange, however, I've studied about and practiced in the human oral environment for over twenty years. I have found that most people don't know that there is more going on in their mouth thanÂ chewing and kissing.
The virus, human papilloma 6, 11, 8, & 16 is associated with oral cancer. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. It can lie dormant and undetected in your body for many years. Sores or warts from this virus can appear in your mouth, throat, larynx, tongue, tonsils.Â This is a concern for many persons in their 20's and 30's. Customarily oral cancersÂ appeared in older individuals, 65+ and those that abused cigarettes and alcohol. Today, that isn't the case.
Dental health professionals, licensed dentists and dental hygienists, are educated in performance of oral cancer screenings. We look and feel forÂ unusual markings in a mouth. And, there will usually be one! When a mark, lump, or sore is found we think of possible reasons for it's existence. Often times the unusual mark is fromÂ normal function; Trauma from foods: too hot, too sharp, too spicy , are common to find. Then there are markings from oral habits:Â biting on cheeks or lips orÂ an occupational hazard, like routinelyÂ holding carpenter nails between your lips whenÂ climbing a ladder. These are just a fraction of things a dental professionalÂ "sees" when looking into a patients mouth.Â The key is that a cause can be identified and when the irritant is removed the mark goes away. Any mark, sore, or lump that does not go away within two weeks should be looked at by a licensedÂ oral care professional. Unfortunately, Oral cancer doesn't always hurt. So, most people don't know they have a mark, lump, or sore in their mouth. Oral cancer screenings by a licensed professional should be routinely performed. So, What's in your mouth?