According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 54,000 adults suffer from oral or mouth cancer in the United States every year. Deadly in all its forms, oral cancer is devastating and can affect a person’s confidence, appearance, and daily life. Read on to learn more about oral cancer and the importance of regular oral cancer screenings.
ORAL CANCER: WHAT IS IT?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the oral region (mouth), which may include your teeth. It often appears as an abnormal growth or sore that does not go away. Oral cancer tends to affect a few regions of the mouth:
- The inner lining of the cheeks
- The roof of the mouth
- The floor of the mouth
ORAL CANCER: SYMPTOMS
There are several symptoms associated with oral cancer. Here are some of the most common:
- A lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
- Loose teeth
- A growth or lump inside your mouth
- Mouth pain
- Ear pain
- Difficult or painful swallowing
ORAL CANCER: PREVENTION
It’s impossible to totally eliminate the possibility of contracting oral cancer. However, there are several ways to help prevent cancerous ulcers in the mouth.
How many times do we have to say it? Brush and floss your teeth. An unhealthy mouth will produce germs, infections, and the like —weakening the immune system and your body’s ability to ward off cancerous threats. Learn more about proper oral hygiene by reading our related blog, Teeth Brushing 101.
Tobacco users are at the highest risk of developing oral cavity cancers. Therefore, a habit of chewing or smoking tobacco could pose a dangerous threat to developing oral cancer and should be stopped at the earliest convenience. Learn more about the dangers of tobacco by checking out our related blog, Dental Risks Associated with Smoking.
Have an Active Lifestyle
Exercising regularly may boost the immune system and reduce the risk of developing cancer. This includes walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, strength training, or weight training.
Fibrous foods high in antioxidants help to strengthen the immune system against cancerous threats. Foods like fruits, cabbage, flax seeds, garlic, green tea, and tomatoes are all great for oral health. Learn more about some healthy foods that are great for your teeth by reading our related blog, 10 Spring Foods That Are Great for Your Teeth.
Go to the Dentist
Make it a habit to see the dentist for a thorough cleaning and mouth screening. We recommend making an appointment every six months — sooner if you struggle with healthier oral habits (smoking or drinking). This will ensure that the danger is caught earlier than later and can help to weaken or eliminate the cancerous ulcer. Learn more about the importance of going to the dentist regularly by checking out our related blog, 4 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Dentist Regularly.
ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS | THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
Our dentists at The Landing Dental Spa recommend having regular oral cancer screenings to identify mouth cancer early when there is a greater chance for successful treatment. This examination can be completed during your routine dental visit and is especially essential if you are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
If you would like to schedule an oral cancer screening, make an appointment at The Landing Dental Spa. Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, our relaxing environment will calm and soothe you as our caring staff adequately treats you. For a comfortable, relaxing, and spa-like dental appointment, call us at 304-594-2200 or contact us online here. We look forward to making you smile.