Evidence shows that older Americans are at risk for greater oral health problems than other groups because of age and the inability to get to a dentistís office due to an existing medical condition or lack of transportation.
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"The dentist will check the head, neck and mouth for signs of oral cancer and will take swift action if oral cancer is found. Dentists must screen patients who have risk factors and those who do not, since 25 percent of oral cancer patients have none," says Dr. Glazer.
The most frequent sites for oral cancer are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, tissues in back of the tongue, lips and gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death.
Reviewed: January 2012
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