Cancer is an incredibly devastating occurrence. When it comes to oral cancer, there are many potential things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing this kind of cancer, as well as ensure that it can be caught early on. This type of cancer impacts the back of the throat, the mouth, or the lips. Taking the additional steps to reduce your risk of oral cancer can go a long way toward protecting your health. It is also important to take good care of your teeth to prevent additional oral health issues from arising. Here are some important things that you need to know about oral cancer, so that you can take the precautions and steps necessary to improve your health.
The Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups
Regular dental visits are incredibly important in improving the health of the teeth and preventing severe issues. These visits can help to keep teeth clean, healthy, and in the best possible condition. When it comes to oral cancer, early detection can mean the difference between the cancer being treatable or not. Your dentist is knowledgeable regarding the various signs and symptoms that are associated with oral cancer. When you regularly visit your dentist, you can ensure that it will be detected before a substantial amount of time has passed.
During your regular dental checkup, your dentist will carefully examine your mouth for potentially suspicious lesions or spots in your mouth. If they find something that concerns them, they will likely perform a test called a brush test. This test is used to collect potentially problematic cells from the area in order to send them to a lab. At the lab, they will be tested to identify the presence of pre-cancerous cells. Your dentist will then go over the results and next steps for you, depending on the outcome. Most experts recommend that you visit your dentist every 6 months, but individuals that are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer likely need to see their dentist more frequently.
It is incredibly important to familiarize yourself with the signs of oral cancer. This will help you to identify it in the early stages, when it is more likely to be treatable. Regular examinations can help to ensure that you find these signs in the early stages. Various sores and lumps are often indications that oral cancer is appearing. Pay close attention to sores, lumps, irritations, rough spots, or thick patches that are located anywhere in the throat, mouth, or on the lips. Patches that are red or white are other indications of potential issues. It is also important to pay attention to mouths or lip sores that won’t heal for an extended period of time or bleed particularly easily. These sores may indicate the presence of cancer. Changes in color of the mouth should also be paid attention to.
Sores and lumps aren’t the only symptoms that are associated with oral cancer. Individuals that are developing this type of cancer may experience the unpleasant sensation of having something stuck in their throat. They may also have difficulty with swallowing or effectively chewing their food. This can make it incredibly difficult to improve nutrition that can lower the risk of oral cancer. Having a tongue that feels numb or painful may also indicate that cancer is developing. Other signs include difficulty with moving the tongue or jaw, swelling of the jaw or surrounding area, ill-fitting dentures, and ear pain that doesn’t result in hearing loss. Many of these symptoms are associated with other issues, as well, so they may not necessarily indicate the presence of oral cancer. However, if the signs last longer than two weeks, it will likely be important to consult a medical professional for effective diagnosis and treatment.
It is incredibly important to avoid the risk factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer. While there are some factors you won’t have control over, there are many steps that you can take to reduce your chances of developing this type of cancer. For one thing, taking extra effort to protect your skin can prevent multiple kinds of cancer. While most people are aware that sun exposure can cause skin cancer, fewer are aware that it can lead to oral cancer, as well. It is extremely important to wear lip balm with a high SPF to protect your lips from too much exposure to the sun. Individuals that are over 40 are more likely to develop oral cancer. Males are also twice as likely as females to develop oral cancer.
Tobacco use is an incredibly common risk factor that leads to oral cancer. If you use any tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or other tobacco products, it is incredibly important to quit. This can go a long way toward preventing oral cancer from occurring, as well as provides other health benefits. Smoking doesn’t only increase your risk of multiple kinds of cancer, but can lead to many additional oral health issues, as well. People who drink alcohol heavily are also at an increased risk of developing this kind of cancer. This risk increases exponentially when someone both uses tobacco products and drinks alcohol heavily. It is incredibly important to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet. Unhealthy eating can raise your risk of developing oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Statistics
Oral cancer is a disease that impacts many people throughout the country. Around 7,500 deaths occur every year from oral cancer. In addition to these deaths, nearly 35,000 American people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year.
Our experts at Bismarck Advanced Dental Implants are dedicated to protecting your health. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis is a crucial step in finding issues in the early stages. This applies both to regular dental issues, along with the presence of oral cancer. To learn more about the importance of regular dental exams to protect your health, contact our experienced professionals at Bismarck Advanced Dental Implants today!