If left untreated, orthodontic problems can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems.
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In the past decade, the dental profession has seen a considerable increase in the number of oral cancer patients under age 30 who have no identifiable risk factors of contracting the disease, such as tobacco or alcohol use, according to an article in the December 2002 issue of AGD Impact, the monthly newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Although national surveys show that the U.S. adult population is ill-informed about the risk factors of developing oral cancers, as well as its signs and symptoms, most dentists perform oral cancer exams.
"Patients under age 30 need to speak to their dentist if they are not receiving oral-cancer exams, or if they believe they are candidates for oral cancer," says AGD spokesperson Howard S. Glazer, DDS, FAGD.
Reviewed: January 2012
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