Posted .

Dr. Christopher McGonigle is excited to share Oral Cancer Awareness month with our patients. Oral cancer awareness is important to us because this disease claims the lives of people every hour of every day. We want to make a dent in that statistic, by working with our patients to reduce those rates as oral cancer is treatable when discovered in the early stages.

While oral cancer is treatable in the early stages, it tends to go undetected because you may not notice any signs or symptoms. This is why oral cancer screenings come into play, because we know what to look for and can detect this disease during a routine dental checkup. If you do happen to notice any of the following, it is a good idea to come in and have our dedicated dentists take a look.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

— Hoarseness that doesn’t go away

— Numbness in the face or mouth area

— A persistent ear ache on one side

— A white or red patch in the mouth (or small ulcer) that doesn’t heal within 14 days

— A lump in the inside of your mouth or neck

— Pain when you swallow, speak or chew

In the past, people who were most at risk for oral cancer were those who tobacco or heavily consumed alcohol. Today, more young people are affected because of HPV (the human papillomavirus) which is a sexually transmitted disease.

If oral cancer goes undetected for too long, the survivability rate among those who are diagnosed is low, with only a little above 50% surviving past five years from the diagnosis. This is why we want to provide oral cancer screenings–to catch the disease early when treatment can be effective. Thankfully, we can often see and feel the tissue changes in the early stages while it is still small.

If you have any concerns, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Christopher McGonigle, we invite you to call our Advanced Dental Care team in Burlington, Massachusetts at 781-272-2875 today!