Aspen Dental oral cancer

March 31, 2011
Network of dental care providers to make donation to Oral Cancer Foundation for advance screenings conducted April 11-15, 2011, during Oral Cancer Awareness Screening Week.

SYRACUSE, New York--Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental-care providers in the U.S., reminds patients about the importance of oral cancer screening and early detection in recognition of Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

To read more about Aspen Dental, go to Aspen Dental.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. This is responsible for approximately 8,000 deaths annually. Common risk factors for oral cancer include use of tobacco products (smoked and smokeless), excessive alcohol consumption, and HPV infection.

As a commitment to oral cancer detection, more than 285 Aspen Dental practices in 22 states will donate $5 from every Vizilite Plus screening conducted April 11-15, 2011, during Oral Cancer Awareness Screening Week to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Vizilite Plus is a specially designed light technology that can help detect oral cancer.

"Unfortunately, oral cancer is often discovered late in its development, which means that the death rate is higher than that of other cancers," said Maureen Howes, RDH, MS, director of hygiene services at Aspen Dental Management. "It's important to identify any abnormalities as early as possible, when the cancer is most treatable, which means that regular dental care and oral cancer screenings are critically important."

Possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal within two weeks; a lump or thickening in the cheek; a white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth; a sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat; difficulty chewing or swallowing; difficulty moving the jaw or tongue; or numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth. Denture patients may experience swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.

To learn more about what to expect during an oral cancer screening, please visit the Oral Cancer Foundation at

For more information about Aspen Dental, visit or call 800-ASPEN DENTAL (800) 277-3633.

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