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April raises awareness on facial protection, oral cancer screenings

April 03, 2019 The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons is encouraging dentists and other dental professionals to raise awareness on facial protection and oral cancer screenings this month.

April is National Facial Protection Month, founded by the AAOMS to promote the use of protective gear — such as mouth guards and helmets — to prevent dental facial injuries resulting from sports and recreational activities.

The campaign offers tips in avoiding such injuries, including:

• Wear a mouth guard for all contact or collisions sports.
• Use a helmet when biking or playing football, baseball, softball, lacrosse or hockey.
• Be alert, even as a spectator. Alert spectators can avoid foul baseballs and flying hockey pucks.

To learn more about National Facial Protection Month, including access to resources such as posters, downloadable social media images, videos and infographics, visit AAOMS.org/SaveFace.

April is also Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which raises awareness on the importance of performing monthly self-exams. According to MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website, over 51,500 people are diagnosed with cancers of the mouth, throat, tonsils and tongue each year.

The AAOMS, along with other dental associations, encourage dental specialty professionals to observe Oral Cancer Awareness Month by providing free oral cancer screenings and educating the public about the causes, symptoms and treatments for oral, head and neck cancer.

The campaign encourages the public to conduct monthly oral cancer self-exams to look and feel inside the mouth for suspicious sores and feel the jaw and neck for lumps, advising them to consult with a dentist if they experience one or more symptoms of oral cancer that are persistent and not resolving.

For more information, including resources, in raising oral cancer awareness, visit AAOMS.org/OralCancerAwareness and MouthHealthy.org.