Here at On Pointe Dentistry, we strive to provide our patients and their families with the best dental care in Phoenix and the surrounding area.

There will be 40,000 Americans this year alone who will be diagnosed with oral cancer. All of them will be shocked. That is about 100 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed every day. The rate seems to be increasing. There are other names for oral cancer, and they include tongue cancer, tonsil cancer, throat cancer, and mouth cancer.

There are two pathways recognized that lead to oral cancer. The very first is tobacco use and then alcohol use. The other one is by exposure to the HPV (Human Papillomavirus – HPV16).  When oral cancer can be diagnosed in the very early stages, the survival rates are 80-90%.

Most of the oral cancers are never detected until they are in the late stage, and that is why the mortality rate from oral cancer has been so high (45% within five years after you have been diagnosed). In the United States alone, oral cancer will kill one person, each hour, of each day of the year.  It is the reason that dentists believe that they give you screening for oral cancer that is vital in helping you to manage your oral health.

Each time you go to On Pointe Dentistry and get a cleaning and check-up at On Pointe Dentistry, our dentists and dental hygienists will make sure you have an oral, visual screening for cancer. If you notice a bump, ulcer, spot, lump, crack, spot or some other area that doesn’t look right in or on your lips, palate, cheek, mouth, tongue, gums, or throat, then we want you to contact us immediately so we can check it out for cancer.

Who is considered to be at risk for oral cancer?

It has been in the not too distant past that oral cancer was thought to be caused by tobacco use. It is no longer the thought process. There are now people who are younger than 50 years of age that HPV is believed to have caused their cancer. So now, the risk factors include alcohol, exposure to HPV-16, and tobacco, so that means every adult in the United States is unfortunately at risk to develop oral cancer. Oral cancer, like any other cancer, your chances of survival are improved if it can be caught earlier.

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