Oral Cancer Screening and 6 Other Tips to Prevent Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer Screening and 6 Other Tips to Prevent Oral Cancer

Sep 01, 2022

Reports by the American Cancer Society claim that more than 50,000 individuals develop a particular form of oral cancer each year. Fortunately, oral cancer can be cured if detected and treated promptly. Regular oral cancer screenings give you the best chances of detecting oral cancer and seeking treatment on time.

Factors that can raise the risk of developing oral cancer

Oral cancer can develop in different parts of the mouth, including the lips, lining of the cheeks, tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, the floor of the mouth, and throat. While there’s no certain cause of oral cancer, certain factors can increase for risk of oral cancer, including:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Tobacco use combined with heavy alcohol consumption
  • Excessive sun exposure can cause lip cancer
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Poor dental hygiene and habits
  • The American Cancer Society reports that males risk oral cancer twice as much as women.
  • A previous diagnosis or family history of oral cancer

These factors do not necessarily mean that you will develop oral cancer. Some people develop cancer without these risk factors. Still, it’s better to be safe by avoiding them if possible.

  • Bleeding sores
  • Loose teeth
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Tongue pain
  • Pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • Lumps or growth in the mouth
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Unexplained sores, pain, or thickening in the mouth or throat

Schedule a consultation with our oral cancer screening dentist immediately if you have any of these or other symptoms that could indicate oral cancer.

How to Prevent Oral Cancer disease?

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.

  • Develop healthy oral hygiene habits

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene keeps your mouth fresh and protects it from oral issues like tooth decay, periodontal disease, bad breath, oral thrush, missing teeth, and more. These oral issues, especially periodontal disease, significantly increases your risk of developing oral cancer. That said, consider these oral hygiene tips to keep your mouth healthy:

  • Brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly but gently at least twice daily.
  • Floss daily to prevent plaque and tartar between teeth.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Seek treatment for oral issues as soon as possible.
  • Avoid tobacco

Tobacco use is a key factor behind lung cancer. Lung cancer accounts for about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States. Tobacco also increases your risk of other cancers, including oral, cervix, throat, larynx, leukemia, pancreatic, kidney, and bladder cancers.

Please note that exposure to secondhand smoke can also increase your cancer risk. Avoiding tobacco is essential for cancer prevention and your overall well-being. Your doctor can help you if you’re struggling to quit tobacco.

  • Eat healthier

What you eat can positively or negatively affect your well-being. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts such as broccoli, spinach, cucumbers, cashew nuts, almonds, beans, and carrots can protect or reduce your risk of oral, stomach, esophagus, and lung cancer.

Drink enough water throughout the day to remain hydrated and drink alcoholic beverages in moderation, if you must. Limit or avoid processed food items like hot dogs and other junk foods. It also limits foods high in sugars and starch.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and stay active

Maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk of oral, breast, lung, colon, prostate, and kidney cancers. Eat less caloric foods and increase your physical activity.

  • Protect yourself from the sun

Skin and lip cancer can be caused by prolonged exposure to UV. To lower your exposure:

  • Avoid the midday sun, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Stay in the shade during outdoor activities.
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen during outdoor activities.
  • Wear clothes that cover exposed skin when outdoors.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.
  • Get Vaccinated

You can consult your dentist about vaccination for certain infections like hepatitis B and HPV, which significantly increase the risk of cancers.

  • Get regular oral cancer exams and screenings.

Having regular oral cancer screening significantly increases your chances of detecting oral cancer early, when treatment is more reasonably cheaper, quicker, and more successful. Contact our dentist for oral cancer screening (VELscope) in Claremont, NH.

Schedule an Appointment Today with Our Dentist in Claremont, NH

For more information about oral cancer prevention, screening, and treatments, schedule a dentist appointment with Claremont Dental Group.

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