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Our goal is to help you create a healthy, beautiful smile. As part of your oral health evaluation, we check for signs of oral cancer when we examine your mouth for tooth decay and gum disease. Early detection and treatment are always more successful for resolving any illness in the body.

Since April is oral cancer awareness month, we would like to talk a little bit about this sensitive subject to help you receive the oral care you deserve. Today we are going to share with you a few tips on checking for signs in between dental checkups, as it is estimated that over 51,000 people in the United States will receive a diagnosis of oral cancer in 2018.

Oral cancer develops when abnormal cells start to divide uncontrollably and become malignant or cancerous. Cancer that occurs in the oral cavity can basically impact any soft tissues in the mouth. Areas susceptible to abnormalities include the lip (most often the bottom lip), salivary glands, esophagus, back of the throat, tongue or tonsils.

If you notice sore patches in the mouth (either red or white) that bleed easily or fail to heal within a couple of weeks, you should have it checked. Other things to look out for include any kind of thickness (or cyst) in the cheeks, numbness, trouble chewing and swallowing food, swellings in the jaw and even a change in your voice.

So, what can you do to avoid oral cancer? There are three things you can do to decrease your risk of this disease. One, don’t use tobacco in any form. Two, limit your alcohol intake. And three, whenever you are out and about protect the sensitive skin on your lips by wearing a sunscreen. Additionally, keep your six-month dental checkups!

We invite you to give us a call if you have any concerns about your oral health. Early diagnosis and treatment places success in your favor. Please call us at 301.663.9484 if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, Dr. Peter Cha or Danny Dinh. Our Family Smile Center LLC team in Frederick, Maryland, is ready to help you with your oral care needs.