Possibly the best part about going to the dentist is coming out with a fresh clean mouth accompanied with some free goodies like a new toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste. However, we dentists are able to do a lot more than clean your teeth. We also do a routine, thorough evaluation of your oral health to detect things like oral cancer.
Oral cancer can be a gloomy topic to talk about, but it is a disease that shows no mercy. Thousands are diagnosed every year, often in later stages when it is more life-threatening. However, if detected early enough, dentists are often your first line of defense against oral cancer.
Although anyone is susceptible to oral cancer without proper dental care, there are certain risk factors that increase your odds of developing this disease.
Tobacco Use – Put down the cigarettes and chewing tobacco and see your dentist! Tobacco use can lead to oral cancer of the mouth, throat, cheeks, gums, and even lips.
Alcohol Use – Heavy drinkers are estimated to be at a whopping 100 percent higher risk of oral cancer than those who don’t drink!
Poor Nutrition – Always eat your peas and carrots! A low diet in fruits and veggies is linked to an increased risk of oral cancer.
Sun Exposure – While certain amount of sunshine offers a healthy dose of vitamin D and happiness, too much exposure can cause the opposite effect. Excessive exposure makes you vulnerable to cancer of the lip.
Gender – Women have the upper hand in dental health over men! Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.
Age – Watching lifestyle habits becomes ever more critical as we age. The older we get, the more susceptible we become to oral cancer!
Be cognizant of things such as a lingering sore throat, lingering sores inside of the mouth lasting 14 days or more, jaw pain or stiffness, numbness or loss of feeling in your mouth, face, or neck, or difficulty while chewing, swallowing, or moving your jaw or tongue. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to let us know!
Come visit us at Foley Dental Group to make ensure you come out with a clean bill of health! Request an appointment with us at (618) 288-9670 or online at www.foleydentalgroup.com.