April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month so we wanted to discuss some of the importance of keeping up your oral hygiene. Approximately 53,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with Oral Cancer this year.   After the initial diagnosis of oral cancer, only about half of patients survive past their diagnosis.  Did you know that tobacco use increases your risk of developing oral cancer by three times and drinking alcohol doubles your risk?  We have lots of control over these two factors and can save ourselves a lot of issues in the future by cutting down or cutting out alcohol and tobacco.  Age is also a factor in oral cancer.  Two-thirds of patients with oral cancer are 55 or older.  The good news is that even though we age we can still take care of our oral health by visiting our dentist!  If oral cancer is detected early, survival rates increase by at least 80% so it is so important to keep up your dental appointments. 

Symptoms:  It’s important to be aware of the following signs and symptoms and to see us  if they do not disappear after two weeks. 

  • A sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

At Sala Family Dentistry, we do Oral Cancer screenings as part of our comprehensive Doctor exam.  Remember, early detection saves lives so don’t forget to keep up your appointments with your dental team!




Mon - Fri 7:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 7:00am - 3:00pm
Sunday Closed