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Columbia, SC dentist Dr. Trinkner screens for oral cancer at dental visits. | Columbia, SC

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month- do you know the common symptoms?

Oral cancer symptoms can include:

  • Persistent hoarseness
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Lump in the throat or neck
  • Persistent earache- often in both ears
  • Numbness in or around the mouth
  • Lesion or sore that does not go away

Many of the early signs or symptoms of oral cancer can be noticed by Dr. Tom Trinkner during routine preventive care in his Columbia dental office: early symptoms are usually subtle and difficult for patients to notice. Oral cancer is on the rise in the U.S. and unfortunately leads to approximately 8,000 deaths per year. While smoking and tobacco use has long been considered the major cause of oral cancers, the rise of the HPV virus has led to an increase in the number of cases worldwide and is now considered to be a leading cause of this type of cancer. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often diagnosed in the later stages and is difficult to treat and cure. Dentists like Dr. Trinkner, who screen for oral cancer during routine visits, are trying to reduce the number of patients who fall into this category.

Oral cancer screening is quick and painless- and can save your life!

Preventive dental care is even more important when patients consider that these visits offer Dr. Trinkner the opportunity to spot developing health issues in their earliest stages, offering the best chance for successful treatment. Preventive care not only helps to support good dental health, but is a part of maintaining overall health and well being: there is often a correlation between a patient’s oral health condition and the state of their physical health.

If you have been avoiding the dentist, now is the perfect time to schedule a visit with Dr. Trinkner: restore your oral health and get screened!