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Oral cancer is a serious threat to your smile. Thanks to your dental checkups with our dentist, Dr. Sara Sheikh at Kennebunk Center for Dentistry in Kennebunk, Maine, you can be screened for oral cancer every six months as part of your dental checkup.

Over 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancers this year. Also, the five-year survival rate is around 64 percent. Doctors say the earlier you can catch cancer, the better your chances are for treating and defeating it, making it essential to get checked for oral cancer regularly. Thankfully, an oral cancer screening does come as part of your semi-annual dental checkup, so you can get checked periodically and catch it as early as possible.

Until you get to see your dentist for a dental checkup, there are signs you can watch for that could be symptoms of oral cancer. These symptoms include:

-Lack of movement: If you have trouble swallowing, speaking, chewing, moving your jaw or tongue around, you could be experiencing oral cancer.
-Sensitivity in your gums and throat: If you are feeling any numbness or pain and tenderness in your mouth, throat and even neck, be sure to get checked out as soon as possible.
-Inflammation: If you see any swelling in your mouth or gums, along with any lumps or bumps and you don’t know why, this could be a sign of oral cancer.
-Patches in your mouth or throat: If you see speckled, red, or white patches throughout your mouth, this could be a warning sign.
-Throat pain: If your throat feels like something is stuck in it or you feel any pain when breathing or swallowing, you should talk to the dentist.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us for an oral cancer screening right away. Our dental team can be reached at 207-985-7944 and we are happy to help you in any way we can.