For many individuals and families, the biggest threat to excellent oral health involves the destruction caused by harmful bacteria. This includes the negative effects of severe decay or infection. Indeed, there are a number of treatments and processes that are used to address these concerns, but nothing is as effective as consistent practice of excellent preventive dental care. Because the month of April is oral cancer awareness month, your Dallas, TX dentist discusses the complications and concerns that arise from the phenomenon, as well as what steps you can take to minimize your risk.
Who It Affects
There is often a common misconception that oral cancer is harmless to those who do not actively use tobacco products or smoke. While tobacco use can certainly increase your chances of developing the concern, it is far from the only thing that can do so. In fact, oral cancer can affect any individual at any age, including younger children and spanning through every age into adulthood and late adulthood. This means that it is not an issue that should be taken lightly, and thought should be given to how you can reduce your risk.
Mouth cancer occurs when the cells within oral tissues mutate, causing them to continue to grow in size and divide as opposed to dying off like healthy cells do. What’s more, this mutate can affect any area contained within the oral cavity, including the gums, cheeks, roof of the mouth, floor of the mouth, lips, throat, and tongue.
What to Look For
In many cases, cancer will not be present without some indicator or sign, including a sore on the lips that does not seem to heal, mouth or ear pain, difficulty swallowing, pain when swallowing, loose teeth, and the presence of a lump or red rough spot. If you suspect you are experiencing at least one or more of these signs, please do not hesitate to contact our team today to learn your options.
Oral cancer can be a frightening experience for anyone, and while there has not been a proven reason as to what causes the mutation, a few factors have been discussed as increasing the chances of its development. These include tobacco use, excessive sun exposure, alcohol consumption, and transmission of the human papillomavirus.
How You Can Help
To date, there has not been a proven way to prevent the onset of mouth cancer, but you can take a few steps to reduce your chances of development. These include having our team perform an oral cancer screening the next time you come in for your checkup and cleaning. Other steps may include ceasing tobacco use, reducing alcohol consumption, avoidance of excessive sun, among others.
Learn More Today
Contact Gentle Smiles Family Dentistry in Dallas, TX by calling 972-329-7645 to learn what other steps you can take to protect your health, or schedule your appointment with our team today.