According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 47 percent of adults 30 and older have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, gum disease can be treated and often reversed in most cases. Dealing with gum disease should include improvements in oral hygiene, making smart dietary choices, and regular…
3 Common Myths About Oral Cancer
When it comes to mouth diseases, Oral Cancer is one of the most dangerous problems. However, you might have some misconceptions about oral cancer. For example, just because you do not smoke does not mean you are not at risk. Read on to help clear these myths up.
Myth: not many people get oral cancer
The Oral Cancer Foundation has made some estimates on the number of people likely to get this condition. In 2017, they estimated that oral and throat cancer were more common than stomach or cervical cancer. Throat and mouth cancers are the sixth most common types. Anyone can get it too.
The risk goes up after the age of 50. However, not all forms of oral cancer are related to a patient’s age. More and more young people are developing this condition. It may be because of a link between this condition and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Myth: only smokers are at risk
Tobacco and nicotine use can increase a patient’s risk of oral cancer. However, non-smokers can also develop the condition. For example, HPV can increase a patient’s risk, as can alcohol. A big risk factor is using betel quid. This developed in South Asia and involves using the areca nut wrapped in a betel plant leaf. Genetics may also factor in the risk.
Even healthy patients may be at risk of the condition. Every adult should receive a at dental exams. The dentist can look at the tongue, mouth, lymph nodes and throat. The dentist will be looking for discoloration, sores and lumps in the area.
This is a noninvasive . It does not involve using radiation. If there are any signs of oral cancer, the dentist can do a biopsy. Part of the suspicious area will be sent off to a lab to be tested for oral cancer.
Myth: there is no way to prevent oral cancer
Oral cancer is not always easy to detect. In fact, some types of oral cancer happen in places that are hard to see. This can include the lymph nodes, back of the tongue and the tonsils. This is one reason why regular exams with the dentist are so important. Early treatment and diagnosis can help to stop the cancer as soon as it is noticed. This is likely to help increase the life expectancy of patients.
Patients can lower the risk of oral cancer in several ways. It is important to use sunscreen. That includes using a lip balm that has an SPF of at least 30. Limiting exposure to the sun is also a good idea. There are a few other ways that patients can lower their risk, including:
- Avoiding smoking
- Staying away from alcohol
- Eating more vegetables
Get an oral cancer today
No matter what your age or your health status is, you may be at risk of oral cancer. It is not always easy to detect either. The good news is that a dentist can catch it early on. Making an appointment now may just save your life later.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer in Hemet, CA.
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