All About Oral Cancer


Oral cancer affects approximately 35,000 people every year. Of those, nearly 8,000 will die. Oral cancer is very real, very prominent, and very scary. At my Lewisburg dental office, we’re here to help you understand the disease and know the risks associated with it.

The Risks

Before we dive into some risk factors of developing oral cancer, it’s important to note that anyone, despite having or not having any risk factors, can get oral cancer. However, some people are more likely to suffer from the disease than others. While many of the risk factors are unavoidable, there are some we can control. Risks include:

  • Gender: Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women. This may be in part because the likelihood of men participating in other risk factors is greater than women.
  • Age: The average age of diagnosis is 62, and the majority of oral cancer patients are at least 55.
  • UV Rays: Those whose jobs or leisure activities are outside are at increased risk for oral cancer, as well as other cancers. If you have to or choose to be outside, wear protective sunscreen.
  • Tobacco Use: 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in people who use tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco.
  • Alcohol: Nearly 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers.
  • Alcohol + Tobacco = DANGER! If you drink alcohol in large amounts often, and partake in smoking or smokeless tobacco, your chance for oral cancer can be as high as 100%.

The Symptoms

Knowing the signs and symptoms of oral cancer can increase your chance of survival greatly. The earlier the cancer is caught, the more successful treatment can be. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Sore(s) that don’t go away
  • A lump on the cheek
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in your voice

If you do notice any of the signs above, call your dentist in Lewisburg right away.

Regular dental checkups are important for many reasons, but a really important one is to catch oral cancer early. If it’s time that you see a dentist, give my Lewisburg dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. You never know, one visit could save your life.

Serving patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport.

Understanding Canker Sores

Canker Sore

There tends to be some confusion behind these uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing sores that seem to appear out of nowhere. While there really isn’t any solid evidence as to what causes canker sores, which is part of what makes them a bit difficult to understand, at my Lewisburg dental office, we can shed some light on what they are and how to get relief.

What are Canker Sores?

Before we can dive into the causes, symptoms, treatments, and other great information about them, we need to identify what canker sores actually are. Canker sores are small, (usually) little ulcer-like lesions that typically pop up inside the mouth. If the affected area is outside on the lip, it’s probably not a canker sore but a cold sore. Cold sores and canker sores may appear similar in appearance and feel the same discomfort, but they are, in fact, different. Canker sores aren’t contagious. Cold sores are.

How Do You Know if You Have a Canker Sore?

Canker sores tend to have the same symptoms every time one appears. Sometimes you may experience an unexplained tingly or itchy feeling in your mouth. This can be a sign a canker sore is about to pop up. Once it appears, you’ll be able to see a small, oval sore with a white or yellow center and red border inside the mouth, usually around the spot that was itchy.

Canker Sore Relief

There is no cure for canker sores and they’ll go away on their own usually within a week or two. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel the discomfort for that long. There are over-the-counter products designed to ease the pain. If it’s a larger sore or you have concerns, you may want to see a dentist in Lewisburg.

When Should You See a Dentist for a Canker Sore?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s appropriate to call your dentist for an appointment.

  • Sores that last longer than two weeks
  • Pain that can’t be handled with over-the-counter treatment
  • High fever
  • Chronic outbreaks

If you think you should see a dentist for your canker sore, or have questions about canker sores, give my Lewisburg dental office a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Accepting new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.