3 Oral Cancer Risks You Can Avoid
Posted on 4/16/2018 by Dr. J. Derek Tieken
|Dr. Tieken and our team are always excited to help patients turn their lives around toward a healthier, more beautiful smile. That means equipping our League City, TX dental office with the latest technology that will show us the earliest warning signs of problems with your teeth and gums.
In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we're sharing ways you can lower your risk for this serious health problem, and how we can help you at Tieken Smiles Dentistry!
Awareness Is The First Step In Fighting Oral Cancer
As valuable as early detection is for successfully treating serious threats to your health, we have to raise awareness so you understand the importance of routine screenings. It's the first step in combating health problems like oral cancer, for example, which is why we use the latest technology for your annual screenings during your cleanings and exams. We're able to check your mouth thoroughly with VELscope, and innovative tool that shows us what's going on inside your mouth more clearly than ever before!
3 Oral Cancer Risks You Can Avoid!
You can't avoid health problems, such as oral cancer, completely, but you can definitely make choices each and every day that will reduce your risk significantly. Here are three oral cancer risks you can avoid for a healthy mouth and a happier life:
Risk Factor #1 – Smoking Cigarettes
Smokers are about twice as likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers. That's a pretty startling contrast! You know all the ways cigarette smoking puts your health at risk, so we won't spend much time on this lifestyle habit, other than to remind you that it's best for your body, and for your mouth and smile, that you quit!
Risk Factor #2 – HPV Infection
Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is spread through sexual contact with someone who is already infected. It's so common, that most people will likely become infected with HPV at some point, but it's something that will go away on its own in most cases. When it doesn't, that's when HPV can pose a risk for your oral health in terms of cancers in the mouth and throat area.
Risk Factor #3 – Excessive Alcohol Consumption
If you drink heavily on a consistent basis, you're at a higher risk for cancers that affect the mouth. This is especially true if you combine the behaviors of drinking and smoking regularly. It only increases your chances for developing cancer and other oral health threats.
A Couple More Facts To Know About Oral Cancer
Up until fairly recently, age played a large role in determining a person's risk for oral cancer. Anyone age 50-55 or older were at a higher risk, and while that still holds true, the fact is that the last few years have seen that age plummet to younger and younger demographics.
Experts tend to agree it has to do with the rise of HPV cases among younger age groups. Another fact to know about oral cancer is that it really can affect anyone. Yes, there are risk factors, some you can control, some you can't. But like so many health conditions, you never can be completely safe from oral cancer. The important thing is that you do all you can to protect yourself with a healthy lifestyle, and with regular trips to each year to see your League City dentist!
Other Ways To Protect Your Oral Health
Let's get back to the factors that you can control when it comes to your dental health!
A balanced, nutritious diet of fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and lean protein can benefit your teeth and gums, as well as your total body. In fact, studies have shown that you have less of a chance for mouth cancers if your daily diet is rich in fruits and veggies! If you don't eat much of those consistently, start to slowly incorporate them as healthier snack options, and ditch the chips and pretzels in your kitchen pantry!
Then there's the issue of oral hygiene. Using a soft-bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride, make sure you're spending about two minutes brushing your teeth every morning and every night. And don't skip flossing! This is one of the most important ways to keep your teeth free of food particles and debris that bad bacteria would otherwise munch on, yet many adults admit to not flossing regularly. Start making it a habit today!
Finally, every six months, you should be visiting us at Tieken Smiles Dentistry in League City, TX. That's because despite all your brushing and flossing everyday, you need a little help from the professionals removing the harmful buildup in your mouth that you can't see.
Visit Us For A Screening!
Dr. Tieken is a dentist who truly understands that a healthy body isn't possible without a healthy mouth. That's why he and our team are so committed to providing the best, most advanced care in dentistry. Using our modern VELscope fluorescent detection system, we can spot signs of oral cancer early so you can have the best fighting chance in overcoming it.
We also want to see you at least every six months for cleanings and exams. That way we can protect your from other problems that affect your mouth, such as cavities and gum disease.
Awareness is the first step in fighting oral cancer and other risks, so we hope today's blog has shed light on some important facts about your dental health and the ways we can help you smile for a lifetime!
Call (281) 942-0444 or contact us to book a visit to our League City, TX dentist office.