Did you know that around 53,000 adults are diagnosed with oral cancer each year? This is more devastating than just losing your bright and beautiful smile. Cancer in the oral cavity can be life-threatening. However, there are a number of causes of oral cancer you must remember. To have a thorough oral cancer screening by the experts at Glendora Family Dentistry, contact us today!
Causes of Oral Cancer
Although there are no proven ways to completely remove the risk of getting oral cancer, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of being diagnosed. Here are some suggestions to fight the causes of oral cancer, while also improving your overall health as well.
Those that use tobacco of any kind are at a higher risk of getting oral cancer. Therefore, if you use cigarettes, pipes, or dip you should always get an oral cancer screening when you go to the dentist. Regular screenings will ensure any red flags don’t last long. If you’ve been thinking of quitting your tobacco use recently, this is a great motivator to help you get there.
Stop Heavy Alcohol Use
Like tobacco, heavy alcohol use is one of the top causes of oral cancer. The statistics skyrocket for those who use tobacco and alcohol regularly. According to the American Cancer Society, alcohol has been linked to cancers involving the mouth, throat, and voice box. It is of the utmost importance that you let your dentist know if you drink heavily. Keep them aware of any signs that indicate oral cancer. Lying about the amount of drinks you have per week can stop the dentist from being able to properly screen and diagnose oral cancer.
Protect Your Lips in the Sun
While many Americans are aware of the importance of sunscreen in preventing skin cancer, few are aware of the havoc that the sun can do to your lips. In some cases, excessive exposure of the lips to the sun was linked to oral cancer. Therefore, make sure to include an effective lip care routine in your hygiene ritual. This is especially important when you will be out in the sun for extended hours.
Prioritize Your Immune System
When our immune system is down, our body does not function optimally or effectively combat threats to our health. Prioritize your immune system by maintaining a healthy diet, consistent work out routine, and regular visits to the doctor and dentist.
Prevention is Crucial
Oral cancer can be fatal, especially if it isn’t treated early on. Therefore, prevention is absolutely essential. Fortunately, prevention is fairly simple and highly rewarding. The first step in prevention is to avoid all of the common causes listed above. If you smoke regularly or drink heavily, then consider making healthier choices step by step to avoid putting yourself at a higher risk.
The next step in prevention is to prioritize regular visits to the dentist. Instead of simply getting a routine check-up (or putting it off altogether), tell your dentist that you would like to add an oral cancer screening to your visit as well. You could never be too careful or too proactive about your health.
Our experts at Glendora Family Dentistry are each trained to thoroughly complete each oral exam so that any issues can be addressed as early as possible. The reality is that any “routine” dentist visit could literally be life-saving. So, next time you defer going to the Glendora dentist because you think that you take good enough care of your teeth at home, remember that cleaning your teeth isn’t the only thing that a dentist does.