April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is oral cancer awareness month. Our Monroe NC dental care team is working hard to shed light on this life threatening, underdiagnosed condition. Often not caught until the later stages, oral cancer affects nearly 50,000 Americans a year. Dr. Leonard Hess provides oral cancer screenings during all oral health exams. A simple process that can potentially save lives.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screenings are basically pain free, noninvasive and simply require a visual inspection from Dr. Hess. This simple procedure can lead to an early diagnosis for the potential for conservative and effective treatment of oral cancer.

Signs To Look For : Oral Cancer

Monitoring changes in your oral health is also helpful in allowing for early diagnosis of any oral health concern. Oral cancer may or may not show obvious signs. Normally seen on the soft tissues of the oral cavity, oral cancer can appear as a sore, redness or white patches, thickening of the skin, or a lump in the throat. If you have difficulty swallowing, chewing, or notice any persistent changes in your oral health be sure to contact Dr. Hess as soon as possible.

Risk Factors : Oral Cancer

  • Tobacco Use: Whether you smoke it, vape it, or chew it, using tobacco products can greatly increase your chance of developing oral cancer.
  • Heavy Alcohol Use: Drinking alcohol, especially in combination with smoking, may increase your risk level for oral cancer.
  • HPV Exposure: If you have been diagnosed with or exposed to HPV or the Human Papillomavirus, you have a greater risk of oral cancer. HPV has been linked to increase in cancer.
  • Your Gender: Men are more likely to develop oral cancer. Men are starting to show signs of oral cancer as early as in their 20s.


Dr. Leonard Hess
2160 Commerce Drive Ste A
Monroe, NC 28110

New Patients 704.240.5045

Current Patients 704.289.3161

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Monday: 8am to 4pm
Tuesday: 8am to 4pm
Wednesday: 8am to 4pm
Thursday: 8am to 4pm
Friday: Closed