Are You At Risk For Oral Cancer?
You know your dentist is looking for cavities during regular check-ups, but you may not realize your dentist can check for cancer at the same time. Regular visits to your dentist can help you detect such cancers early, and changing a few potentially harmful habits may help reduce your chances of developing them. These 5 factors are a good indicator of your risk.
Age Most people who are diagnosed with oral cancer are 55 or older. Gender Men are twice more likely to get oral cancer. Tobacco Smoker Whether you smoke it or chew it, tobacco use increases your risk dramatically. Smoking can cause oral cancer, as well as cancer in other parts of the body. HPV The sexually transmitted disease is now associated with about 9,000 cases of head and neck cancer (specifically those occurring at the back of the tongue, in or around the tonsils) People who are diagnosed with HPV-related head and neck cancer tend to be younger and nonsmokers Alcohol Drinker
Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral infections such as gum disease. Heavy alcohol use also increases your risk for mouth cancer.
While some of these risk factors cannot be controlled, regular dental checkups can help for early detection, prevention and cure. For a more thorough dental consultation, contact us today.