Oral disease is relatively common among many Americans. It’s probably one of the most forms of the disease in the US. About 40% of Adult Americans have periodontal disease, and that’s just from this disease alone, which is pretty significant. However, another common oral disease affecting many Americans is oral cancer.
Oral cancer is a severe disease that can be deadly if not treated properly. It’s one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States. However, you can do things to reduce your risk of developing this disease. But first, let’s discuss what oral cancer is.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the mouth. It can develop on the lips, tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, and inside of the cheeks. The most common symptoms of oral cancer are a sore or lump in the mouth that doesn’t go away, white or red patches on the lining of the mouth, loose teeth, and a swollen jaw.
Symptoms that are rare but indicate a more advanced form of oral cancer is bleeding in the gums and mouth, difficulty swallowing, numbness in the mouth and face, hoarseness, and a lump or mass in the neck. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to visit a dentist’s office right away. Oral cancer can be treated if caught early enough, but it can be deadly if it’s left untreated.
Oral cancer can have a significant impact on a person’s lifestyle. For example, it can cause difficulties eating and drinking, resulting in the need for surgery or radiation therapy. In some cases, oral cancer can also lead to disfigurement. It can also affect people’s overall mental state.
The thought of having cancer can be very frightening, and it can be challenging for people to cope with. It can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people are willing to help, and there are many resources available to help you through this difficult time.
Who is at risk for developing oral cancer?
Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing oral cancer. Some of these factors include:
- Smoking or using tobacco products: This is the most significant risk factor for developing oral cancer. In fact, tobacco use is linked to about 80% of all oral cancers.
- Exposure to the sun: Excessive sun exposure can increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer, which can also lead to oral cancer.
- Alcohol use: Heavy alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of developing oral cancer.
- Oral HPV infection: Oral HPV infection is a risk factor for oral cancer. HPV is a pretty common form of STD in the United States.
- Poor oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene can lead to an increased risk of developing oral cancer.
Ultimately, oral cancer is a lifestyle disease. Being a lifestyle disease means that the best way to prevent it is by living a healthy life. By reducing your risk factors, you can decrease your chances of developing oral cancer. However, there are also other and more common ways you can reduce your chances of getting this kind of cancer.
How can you reduce your risk of developing oral cancer?
As stated earlier, oral cancer is a lifestyle disease, and you can avoid it by generally living a healthy life. Here’s what you need to take note of if you want to reduce your chances of developing oral cancer.
Practice good dental hygiene
This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. Regular dental checkups are also important. Your dentist can spot early signs of oral cancer and other problems.
Avoid sugary food and drinks.
Sugar can cause tooth decay, which can lead to oral cancer. So it’s important to avoid sugary food and drinks, especially if you have a history of tooth decay. It can also lead to diabetes, another risk factor for oral cancer. Having diabetes and oral cancer can lead to several health complications that can be fatal.
Get cosmetic surgery
If you’re concerned about your appearance, you can get cosmetic surgery to improve the way you look, especially if you have teeth that have been extracted. However, a tooth implant is more than just cosmetics. Exposed gums can be a site for oral cancer because of the bacteria that can live there. So by having cosmetic surgery, you’re also reducing your risk of developing oral cancer.
Oral cancer is a serious disease that can have a significant impact on a person’s lifestyle. However, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing this disease. By practicing good dental hygiene, avoiding sugary food and drinks, and getting cosmetic surgery, you can decrease your chances of developing oral cancer. However, the best way to avoid this disease is simply by living a healthy lifestyle.