Oral Cancer Awareness Month By Dr. Ashlin on April 05, 2022

Teeth Talk Tuesday is our blog outlet about interesting dental topics. We’re sharing information about the latest and greatest developments in dentistry as it applies to your life!  

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that Jennie, our front office team member, is an oral cancer survivor?! We are especially passionate about oral cancer early detection!! In honor of this month, we asked Jennie to briefly share her story:

“My oral cancer was found by my hygienist during a routine cleaning in 2017.  It appeared as a non-threatening looking lump on my palate.  But a biopsy confirmed it was cancer.  I was very fortunate to have a great surgeon at Levine Cancer Center who removed ¾ of the roof of my mouth, 2 teeth and the cancer! He worked closely with my prosthodontist at MUSC and I was fitted with an appliance that allowed me to swallow and speak again.  Nine months later I had reconstruction surgery that pulled my temple muscle down over my cheek and was then grafted to the roof of my mouth to create my “new palate”! 


Now five years later I can speak, eat, and drink without difficulty and more importantly am CANCER FREE!  Thankfully I had routine dental care on a timely basis including PANORAMIC X-rays and cancer screening by my Dentist.  Oral cancer used to be a “death sentence” but now with advanced treatment it is survivable.  I urge you to keep up with your dental care and oral cancer screenings – it saved my life! “

Oral Cancer Facts:

-The best way to treat and prevent aggressive oral cancer is by regular dental check ups. Yes, at your cleanings Dr. Kleinheinz and Dr. Ashlin are looking at your teeth and gum health; but, they are also examining the lymph nodes in your head/neck and the soft tissue on your cheeks, palate, lips, tongue, and floor of the mouth. These are areas that you can’t see by yourself!

-Panoramic X-rays, taken once every three years, help detect cysts in the jaw bones. These have been instrumental in diagnosis of oral cancer.

-The biggest risk factors for oral cancer is smoking and chewing tobacco (aka dip). However, many instances of oral cancer are in patients with no history of either. So, quit smoking/tobacco use and get your check up!

Give us a call at 704-542-6003 to schedule your dental exam and cleaning.    


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Kleinheinz Dentistry

Drs. Jeffrey S. Kleinheinz and Katrina Ashlin provide comfortable and convenient dental care to patients of all ages. Our dentists are proud to be affiliated with:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The North Carolina Dental Society
  • The Charlotte Dental Society

You can schedule an appointment at our office in Charlotte, NC, by contacting us online or calling (704) 542-6003.

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