Today, nearly 100 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States. Mouth cancer includes cancer in any part of the oral cavity or oropharynx, including the mouth, gums and lips as well the throat at the back of your mouth. Unfortunately, this is not a rare cancer and contrary to what you may think, oral cancer is not solely caused by heavy tobacco use. Most risk factors, however, do involve elements you can control.
Take an active role in preventing oral cancer with these top 5 prevention steps:
#1 Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol – Tobacco users more than double their risk for oral cancer against those who do not smoke. Both smoking and chewing tobacco contribute to this type of cancer. Also, limit your alcoholic beverages. Even binge drinking can put you at a higher risk for oral cancer.
#2 Brush and Floss Daily – A disciplined oral hygiene routine at home can protect your immune system and help your body fight off potential oral cancers. A recent study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research revealed that people whose teeth and gums are in poor condition may be more susceptible to an oral virus (HPV) that can cause certain mouth and throat cancers.
#3 Establish Healthy Diet and Exercise – An active lifestyle will boost your immune system, a critical cancer prevention step. In addition, researchers are discovering increasing benefits about the importance of eating healthy foods to fight cancer. Adopting a ‘Mediterranean-style diet’ that includes fresh vegetables, citrus fruits, olive oil and fish can lower your risk for cancer.
#4 Don’t Skip Your Dental Exam – Last but certainly not least, keep your routine dental appointment every six months. Make sure your dentist performs an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer that is detected at early stages has up to a 90% survival rate! This quick and totally painless screening can save your life. In addition, most insurance companies will cover the cost of the screening.
#5 Know the Signs – Because the statistics for conquering mouth cancer are profoundly better for those that detect it early, it is critical that you not only see your dentist for your annual oral cancer screening but that you also know how to identify the warning signs at home. See your doctor immediately if you have one or more mouth ulcers that do not heal. Also take note of red, or red and white, patches on the lining of your mouth or tongue as well as any swelling in your mouth that lasts longer than three weeks. Oral cancer is highly curable and easily treated if you catch it early.
To learn more about oral cancer or to schedule your routine dental exam and oral cancer screening, please call Muccioli Dental in Johns Creek.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Randy Muccioli, Muccioli Dental
Muccioli Dental - Johns Creek Dentist
6300 Hospital Pkwy, Suite 275
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: (678) 389-9955