March 6, 2018
According to recent data, 35,000 Americans are affected by oral cancer every year. While people who use tobacco products are at a much higher risk of oral disease in general, it doesn’t mean that simply avoiding tobacco will prevent you from contracting oral cancer entirely. Those who drink heavily or are over the age of 45 also have an elevated risk of getting oral cancer. Additionally, men are twice as likely to contract oral cancer over women, so they have an additional excuse to visit your dentist in Anaheim.
Once you’re there, they can confirm your oral health once and for all.
What are the Risk Factors of Oral Cancer?
The two largest risk factors of oral cancer include tobacco and alcohol use. In fact, 85 percent of head and neck cancers can be attributed to tobacco use and using alcohol with tobacco increases your risk even more. The tobacco in cigarettes is so deadly, that even secondhand smoke can increase your risk of head and neck cancer.
Other risk factors include:
- Prolonged sun exposure – unprotected exposure to the sun has been linked with oral cancer, mainly in the lip area.
- HPV – Infection with the HPV virus is considered a risk factor specifically for oropharyngeal cancer.
- Gender – As previously mentioned, men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than women
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor diet and nutrition – Having a balanced diet is incredibly important not only to your oral health, but to your overall health as well.
- Weakened immune system
What Signs I Should Look for?
If you notice any of the following signs while brushing, take note and tell your dentist in Anaheim as soon as possible. The key to treating oral cancer the most effectively is by doing so through early detection. Keep an eye out for:
- Persistent red and/or white patches inside the mouth
- Sudden tooth movement without any obvious cause
- Unusual oral bleeding or prolonged hoarseness
- Progressive swelling or enlarged areas in and around the mouth
If you are unsure if you have signs of oral cancer, make a visit to your dentist.
How Your Dentist in Anaheim Can Help
Your dentist cannot stress enough how important regular visits are to catch and treat oral cancer. This is because your dentist is in a unique position to do catch squamous cell carcinomas, a form which 90 percent of oral cancers take. These appear in the form of lesions on the mucosal surfaces, an area your dentist examines while performing his regular exam.
Most of the time, your dentist won’t even tell you when they are performing the oral cancer screening because it isn’t necessary to do so. Their comprehensive exam will catch any lesions or other abnormalities that could be linked to oral cancer. If you think you may be seeing early signs of oral cancer, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist right away.
Oral cancer can be treated effectively, but only if you visit your Anaheim dentist. Schedule your next appointment with him today!
About the Author
Dr. Saeid Mohtashami earned his dental degree from the USC School of Dentistry and continued extensive dental training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. His comprehensive dental exams work to catch oral cancer early, so you can feel confident when you seek treatment. To learn more about prevention or about his practice, contact him at (714) 974-5223 or visit his website.
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