It’s estimated that around 49,750 people will be diagnosed with tonsil, throat, mouth, or tongue cancer this year alone. That’s a massive amount of people. How can you lower your risk of oral cancer and avoid being a statistic? For starters, your dentist performs an oral cancer screening during each checkup and cleaning, allowing you and your dentist to spot it before it develops further. Is there anything you can do on your own to help prevent it from developing? Here are some steps you can take to lower your risk of oral cancer.
Any products that contain tobacco, from cigarettes to chewing tobacco and even vaping, significantly increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Smoking can not only lead to oral cancer, it can cause cancer in other parts of your body as well, such as the lungs. Chew and other smokeless tobacco products can lead to a number of issues in your mouth, the biggest of which are the possibility of developing cheek, gum, or lip cancer. These products can also have detrimental effects on your teeth. Avoiding tobacco products at any cost will lower your risk of oral cancer by a large margin.
Although it might seem tedious, applying sunscreen greatly reduces your chances of developing lip cancer, especially if you work outside.
7 out of 10 oral cancer patients drink heavily, according to the American Cancer Society. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines heavy drinkers as men who average two drinks a day or women who average more than one drink a day. Heavy drinking increases your odds of developing oral cancer exponentially. Taking steps to cut back on your drinking will have multiple benefits for your health.
Our dentists can offer you a variety of procedures based on your oral health needs. Contact us at our local Austin, TX office at 512-250-9444.