How do I know if I have oral cancer?
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases on the planet and oral cancer is among the most deadly, killing more than half of all victims within 5 years. In fact, one person dies every hour in the US from oral cancer. Even those that survive are often severely disfigured, missing large parts of their jaw, tongue, and throat.
If you smoke, drink, or use chewing tobacco, then you are in the highest risk group for getting oral cancer. Moreover, drinking and smoking at the same time greatly increases the risk.
The key to surviving oral cancer, as with most cancers, is early detection. If you have sores or lesions in your mouth that stick around for a long time or have a constant lumpy feeling in your mouth, tongue, or throat when chewing or swallowing then you should see a specialist, such as a dentist, immediately.
Oral cancer can even be detected before these symptoms occur, but unfortunately most early signs are painless and can only be detected by a dentist. If you are in the high risk group, and in particular if you are over 40 as 95% of oral cancers occur in those over 40, then it is extremely important that you see a dentist for a cleaning, at least once every 6 months, so they can assess the overall health of your teeth and mouth.
If you can't see a dentist every 6 months because you don't have and cannot afford the high monthly premiums of traditional dental insurance, then you should enroll in a discount dental plan. Discount dental plans typically cost around $100 annually and include 2 free (or very cheap) routine cleanings, which will allow you to detect cancer early, as well as get your teeth cleaned.
Dental Plans Frequently Asked Questions
What is a direct reimbursement dental plan?
What are the real benefits of flossing?
A little toothache isnít that big a deal, right?
Can diet soda cause cavities?
Is brushing twice a day enough to keep cavities at bay?
Are you prepared for a dental emergency while traveling?
Looking for the best dental programs available?
Does the kind of tooth brush I use really matter?
Can drinking milk really make my teeth stronger?
Is there a best dental plan for everyone?
What is a dental sealant?
Overwhelmed by the number of dental plan options online?
Donít think you need a dental health plan?
Nervous about purchasing a dental plan on the Internet?
How important are my teeth, really?
Are electronic-based insurance providers super competitive?
How can I pay for braces if my dental plan doesnít cover them?
How can I reduce the number of dental plan choices I have to choose from?
Will my dental insurance help cover the cost of whitening my teeth?
Do over-the-counter whitening strips really work?
What can I do to improve my smile?
Is chewing ice bad for my teeth?
Is cosmetic dentistry the same thing as cosmetic surgery, but on my mouth?
What can I do to close the gap between my front teeth?
Is there such a thing as cosmetic dentistry insurance?
How do you correct the color and/or shape of a tooth?
What is the best way to prevent cavities?
Canít afford the relatively high costs of dental insurance?
Looking for an affordable dental insurance policy that offers the greatest variety of dentists?
Do eating disorders affect one's teeth?
Do certain vitamins help me maintain good dental health?
What are the basic kinds of dental insurance?
What kinds of fillings do dental insurance companies cover?
Will my insurance cover the cost of fixing my knocked out tooth?
Is smoking really that bad for my teeth?
What is gingivitis?
Tired of filing claims forms with your dental insurance company?
Iím going to lose all my teeth as I grow older, right?
Does your dental plan rely on a least expensive alternative treatment approach?
What is a canker sore?
Whatís the difference between a dental health plan and a dental insurance policy?
Should I have my old mercury-based fillings replaced?
Are there any over-the-counter medications available for gum disease?
Need treatment now for your aching tooth?
If I practice perfect dental hygiene, do I still need to a dental plan?
Do I really have to get my wisdom teeth removed?
How do you see a dental health specialist without a referral?
How do I know if I have oral cancer?
Need some work done on your teeth that is not covered by your insurance company?
Are your battle scarred teeth sending dental insurance companies running for the hills?
Canít afford to wait for dental insurance companies to reimburse you?
Are you afraid that you may exceed an insurance policyís annual maximum?
You must have poor dental hygiene to have gum disease, right?
When exactly will a discount dental plan save me money?
Worried that you’re going to have to start footing the bill for your recent high school grad’s dental insurance?
How much toothpaste is enough?
When should I find a dentist for my baby?
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
Are there dentists who specialize in infants and toddlers?
Is teething really the nightmare that Iím told it is?
Does pregnancy affect my teeth?
Can poor treatment of a childís baby teeth lead to less healthy adult teeth?
Is rinsing with Listerine really as effective as flossing?
Can improving my childís diet really help prevent tooth decay?
How do you find a dentist that will work with your dental health plan?
What bad habits really affect teeth?
Are you afraid to go to the dentist?
What can I do to ease a toothache?
How do you find a dentist that is actually good?
How do you filter the good dentists out of the huge number of dentists around?
Are your teeth sensitive to cold or hot temperatures?
How do I find a good family dentist?
What is tartar?
Is your employerís group dental coverage insufficient for your family?
Is the cost of a group dental plan intimidating to your small business?
Looking to provide your employees with dental health coverage but are deterred by the associated costs?
Is chewing gum bad for my teeth?
Are there any catches involved in a group dental plan?
What kind of floss should I use?
Should my employer provide dental coverage for my partner?
Think thereís no reason to provide group dental insurance to your employees?
Where should I keep my toothbrush?
What does good tooth brushing form really consist of?
What is a waiting period?
Does the type of filling I get for my teeth matter?
Will my dental plan cover my dentures?
Want to avoid the months-long gap in coverage when you first start a new insurance plan after being uninsured?
Can drinking alcohol cause damage to my teeth?
Is brushing your tongue important?
Canít afford rinsing with Listerine every day?
Do I really need a dental plan?
Does your family dental plan cover braces for your kids?
Are dental braces as unaffordable for you as they were for the serfs of Ancient Egypt?
Donít want your kid to be called metal mouth?
Does dental insurance cover designer dental treatments?
When should I first bring my child to an orthodontist?
Donít think your crooked teeth look that bad?
Is thumb sucking that bad for my toddler?
Do I need to brush more often when I get braces?
Are dental insurance an orthodontist the same thing?
What are the benefits of flossing?
Do I need an expensive dental plan?
Can I afford a dental plan?
What is a LEAT policy?
What causes a canker sore?
Does dental insurance cover enough to make the cost worthwhile?