Some patients think they might just have a canker sore, never thinking that same spot could be oral cancer. You don’t smoke. You don’t have any history of cancer within your family or any known risk factors. When you felt a sore spot on your tongue, you thought it was just caused by an old crown rubbing against your tongue.
Symptoms of oral cancer can be hard to decipher as a real threat. The risks aren’t well known either. If you want to know the reality of oral cancer and true risks, this blog post from your dentist in Colorado Springs is for you!
The Risks Associated with Oral Cancer
What determines who gets oral cancer? Truly, everyone is at risk for oral cancer. But, it’s important to be aware of your personal risk and take the necessary actions to reduce it. Over half of all diagnoses are linked to the lifestyle choices you make. By keeping your health in mind, you can eliminate your chances of developing oral cancer.
Eliminate Tobacco Use
Believe it or not, tobacco accounts for 2 out of every 3 oral cancer cases. This doesn’t matter if you smoke it use it orally, it’s still deteriorating your overall health. You could also be exposing your loved ones to second-hand smoke, increasing their chances of developing cancer.
Reduce Alcohol Use
Many people can indulge in alcohol use in moderation. But excessive alcohol use can cause patients to experience many horrible symptoms, including the higher chance of developing oral cancer.
Don’t Drink and Smoke at the Same Time
If you are a mixed consumer, meaning you smoke and drink excessively, you are increasing your risk for oral cancer by up to 30 times!
Keep your immune system strong.
By preventing yourself from other diseases that attack your immune system like HPV, you could be decreasing your chances of developing oral cancer. Make sure to keep your whole body healthy.
The Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Most of the time, the earliest signs of oral cancer are mistaken for other problems, such as a painful toothache or lingering cold. If you’re battling consistent abnormalities for weeks at a time, consider visiting your dentist for a comprehensive exam including an oral cancer screening. Some of the telltale signs of oral cancer include:
- Persistent mouth sores
- Continuous mouth pain
- Lumps on your cheek
- White or red patches on your gums
- A sore throat that lasts for weeks
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
- Numbness in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Change in voice
- Weight loss
- Chronic bad breath
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your dentist. It’s better to have a dental checkup and oral cancer screening early on before oral cancer develops.
About Our Office
Here at Aesthetic Dentistry by Design, we invite you to experience the fine art of general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. Our talented, highly-trained dentists have years of experience with a variety of different dental issues, even oral cancer. Feel free to call our office if you have any questions about oral cancer or scheduling an appointment.