Our modern lifestyles are not the healthiest in the history of humankind. In fact, more cancers have been diagnosed in the last 50 years than in the 1,000 years prior. Much of that is due to medical advancements and the ability to diagnose disease, but another major factor is what we are doing to our bodies. This month is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and our team at Enhance Dental is spreading the word that this disease is not as rare as you once might have thought.
What It Is
Oral cancer is misleading as it encompasses a variety of different cancers including throat cancer, head and neck cancer, and laryngeal cancer. There are a few lifestyle habits that can contribute to a diagnosis of one of the above diseases.
- Poor Dental Hygiene. If you aren’t brushing twice per day for two minutes each time and flossing daily, you are putting yourself at risk for dental disease.
- Tobacco Use. Whether you smoke or use chew, tobacco is a leading cause of oral cancers. Not to mention that this substance can lead to other diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease.
- Malnutrition. This doesn’t just apply to people in poor countries. People in America have access to an abundance of food. The sad part is that we often choose foods that have no nutrient value. Without the right vitamins and minerals, our teeth can literally fall out and disease can and does run rampant through our bodies.
The Best Way to Prevent It
The most obvious ways to prevent oral cancer and disease are to practice good dental hygiene habits, stop tobacco use, and consult a nutritionist to ensure you are getting the right vitamins for your diet. In addition, you need to be visiting a dentist at least twice every year.
At the dentist, a professional dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and mouth and remove any excess plaque and tartar that could be causing tooth decay. After the cleaning, a dental assistant may take an updated set of x-rays for the dentist to review. As the dentist reviews your x-rays and rules out any jaw problems, they will also examine your head, neck, mouth, and throat for any signs of oral cancer or disease. Your dentist will propose treatments or procedures if any issues do arise.
Without these routine visits, subtle signs of oral cancer can go unnoticed. Diseases like Gingivitis and Periodontitis may cause bleeding and swelling in the gums, but many times people will brush these issues under the rug instead of seeking dental care.
It’s Dentist Time
Don’t neglect the dentist! Schedule an appointment with our providers today. If you are a new patient, you can get your first exam, cleaning, and set of x-rays for just $59. Our team makes dental care affordable and accessible. We look forward to setting you up for dental health success and kicking oral cancer out the door for good.