Sobering Statistics

Forest Smiles – The Best Dentist in Lynchburg, VA

By now you’ve heard us emphasize many times that the evidence linking gum disease to systemic diseases like diabetes and heart and stroke continues to grow. That’s why we’re so thorough at your checkups and focus on prevention and home care routines to maintain your oral health. Another important priority we’d like to stress is the need for regular oral cancer exams.

Recently, more than 25% of oral cancer victims have been under age forty and have none of the known lifestyle risk factors like tobacco, alcohol use, diabetes or HIV. It has now been established that people can develop oral cancer through the human papilloma virus (HPV). Most types of HPV are harmless – skin warts for example, are very common. But some times that can be sexually transmitted have been linked to oral cancers.

If oral cancer is caught early, the five-year survival rate can be as high as 90%. If not, the rate drops significantly. You can help us by pointing out any abnormal condition you might have seen or felt in your mouth, even ones that seem trivial like a small canker or cold sore that just won’t go away.

And because in its earliest most-treatable stages oral cancer usually causes no pain or discomfort, we will perform an oral cancer examination for all of our adult patients, from age 20, every year.