When it comes to your family’s dental health in Seattle, WA, you want someone who can take care of every mouth. Seeing us at Jahyun Koo, DDS twice a year is essential. We’ll go over your oral care routine, perform a regular checkup, and screen you for signs of more complex issues, like oral cancer. It’s never too young to be aware of what oral cancer can look like! Being proactive is the best way to catch things early. 

We care about the health of your mouth. Regular checkups and screenings are important to keeping your mouth — and the rest of your body — healthy. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. We’re sharing some ways to be proactive about your care, but make sure you’re visiting us regularly to stay up-to-date! Call our office today at 206-922-4573 for an appointment,

What is Oral Cancer? 

Cancer in your mouth can originate from your lips, gums, tongue, roof or floor of the mouth, and the inner lining of your cheeks. Cancer begins from an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. In this case, these abnormal cells are located in your mouth. 

Signs of Oral Cancer

It’s important to get up close and personal with your mouth to monitor any symptoms or signs of anything abnormal. Having dental checkups twice a year is also essential to protecting your mouth. 

Oral cancer presents itself in different ways. Pay attention to how everything looks, feels, and operates in your mouth to be aware of anything unusual. Some signs of oral cancer include:

  • A mouth or lip sore that doesn’t heal
  • Loose teeth
  • A lump or growth inside your mouth
  • A white or red patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Pain in your mouth or ear(s)
  • Difficult or painful swallowing

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t wait. Call us right away at 206-922-4573 for an appointment. 

Am I At Risk?

Cancer can grow in anyone. However, there are a few habits or lifestyle changes that can help reduce or mitigate the risk of developing oral cancer. 

Recurrent and frequent tobacco or alcohol use can put you at risk for oral cancer. The more you smoke, the greater your risk is. Tobacco products, like chewing tobacco, also increases your risk for oral cancer. People who are consistent, heavy users of alcohol and cigarettes are 30 times more at risk than people who aren’t. 

Try cutting back on smoking and drinking to reduce your risk for oral cancer. Your mouth and overall health will thank you!

Another way you can protect yourself from oral cancer is avoiding excessive sun exposure to your lips. Wear sunscreen and opt to moisturize with a lip care product that has SPF in it. For additional protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat to minimize sun exposure. Enjoy soaking up the spring sun — but do it safely!

Oral cancer can be scary. But with regular trips to the dentist, self-screening, and staying away from tobacco and alcohol, you’re protecting your mouth. Ready to see us? Call our office today at 206-922-4573 for an appointment or schedule online. We’re located on California Avenue Southwest, not far from Fairmount Park.