Did you know that it’s estimated that around 49,750 people will be diagnosed with mouth, throat, tonsil, or tongue cancer this year? That means the odds of you or someone you know developing oral cancer are rather high. Don’t risk becoming a statistic. You can lower your risk of developing oral cancer by cutting certain bad habits out of your life as well as regularly visiting your dentist. Your dentist performs an oral cancer screening during each checkup and cleaning, allowing you and your dentist to spot it before it develops further.
According to the American Cancer Society, 7 out of 10 oral cancer patients drink heavily. 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, especially when combined with heavy smoking. If this applies to you, taking steps to cut back on your drinking will have multiple benefits for your health.
Any products that contain tobacco, such as cigarettes or chew, significantly increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Smoking can not only cause oral cancer, it can cause cancer in other parts of your body like the lungs. Smokeless tobacco, such as chew, can lead to a number of issues in your mouth, the biggest of which being the development of 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.
Even if you think it’s a pain, applying sunscreen greatly reduces your chances of developing lip cancer, especially if you work outside.
Our dentists offer a variety of options to treat your oral health needs. Contact us at our local Austin, TX office at 512-250-9444.