April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and by increasing public awareness and professional involvement, we can all help increase the survival rate of oral cancer in Nashville, TN. Here are seven facts about this form of cancer:

  1. Almost 50,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year
  2. Oral cancer takes the life of 24 people every day, which is one every hour
  3. After you learn about this disease, you can lessen your chances of contracting it
  4. You are at higher risk if you have a history of heavy alcohol usage
  5. Smokers are typically more at risk than non-smokers
  6. Those over 50 are typically more at risk
  7. Patients with one particular strain of Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, are at a higher risk

When you learn to check your own mouth, you can increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

What to Look For

When you are between dental visits, you can check inside your mouth for any signs or symptoms of oral cancer. Let your periodontist know about any of these problems listed below if they do not go away within two to three weeks:

  • Red or white patches
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Any sores that will not heal or keep erupting
  • Swelling in the back of your mouth or in your neck
  • Numbness in your mouth or around your lips
  • Eroded areas on your gums or inside your cheeks
  • Lumps, rough spots or crusty areas
  • Persistent pain, tenderness, or irritation
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue, chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • A change in how your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

If you have any immediate concerns, give us a call. The Nashville Periodontal Group can be reached at their Nashville office location at (615) 457-8287 or their Brentwood office at (866) 910-2173. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Bill Akin, Dr. Will Akin or Dr. Brian West to receive experienced, professional screening for oral cancer in Nashville, TN.