Although it’s not the most positive fact, the sad reality is that there are very few lives today that haven’t been touched by cancer in one way or another. When someone speaks of cancer, people can usually relate whether it be their mother, father, siblings, friends, colleagues, or in some cases just acquaintances. It’s important to consider the very realistic chance of you or a loved one having oral cancer.
The office of C. Gary Simmons, DDS wants to give you the information you need to keep your mouth and body healthy. While many patients who develop oral cancer have a history of tobacco use and/or excessive alcohol consumption, a quarter of all cases occurs in patients who have never engaged in these hazardous behaviors. That is why it is imperative to have your dentist in Spring, TX complete an oral cancer screening during your dental appointments.
We’re All at Risk
What are the official determining factors for developing oral cancer? When it comes down to it, everyone is at risk for oral cancer. But, it’s important to be aware of your personal risk and take steps to reduce it. Most diagnoses are centered around lifestyle and the habits we have. By altering our lifestyle choices by keeping our health in mind, we can cut the chances of developing oral cancer.
Did you know that tobacco accounts for two in every three oral cancer cases? Do you still think that 1 in 5 people would smoke tobacco products? There are thousands of chemicals contained in a single cigarette and they are entering your body through our mouth. Also, if you’re exposing your family members to second-hand smoke, you’re increasing their chances of developing cancer as well. By quitting smoking, you could reduce you and your family’s risk of developing oral cancer by a whole third.
Some patients think that they’re not intoxicating their body as much by choosing to chew tobacco rather than smoke it. Chewing tobacco directly effects your mouth because you absorb the chemicals through your gums, making them very vulnerable to decay, disease, and infections.
Alcoholic beverages in substantial amounts also severely increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Moderation is key with alcohol consumption for not just your oral health, but your overall health. The risk of contracting oral cancer is increased by a third for excessive alcohol consumers.
Did you know that if you’re a mixed consumer, meaning you smoke and drink excessively, you are increasing your risk for oral cancer by up to 30 times? It is especially important to visit your Spring, TX dentist to receive regular (or more frequent) oral cancer screenings if you continue or have participated in these risky habits.
Yes, oral cancer is a disease with complex risks. Not only do the roles of alcohol and smoking increase your chances of developing oral cancer, but your genetics also play a part. The more susceptible you are to infections because of deficiencies in your DNA like HPV (or catching it) or medications that suppress the immune system, the higher your chances are of developing an additional disease.
Get an Oral Cancer Screening Today!
As your health advocate, Dr. Simmons wants to make it known that high-risk patients aren’t the only ones at risk of developing oral cancer. Our team takes this threat to our patients seriously. That’s why we offer oral cancer screenings as a critical part of your regular checkup. Each patient that enters our office will thoroughly have their oral tissues, head, and neck area examined for symptoms that you probably wouldn’t notice otherwise. If your Spring, TX dentist notices any abnormalities, we can move forward with a biopsy to get you a concrete diagnosis. Contact our office to schedule your next dental appointment.