In last week’s blog, our team discussed the dangers that arise from gum disease, and how oral bacteria can wreak havoc on your health if given the chance. Now that it is oral cancer awareness month, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some insight on a concern that most do not keep at the forefront of their mind, but that can affect anyone at any given time. In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI dentist takes a look at the common causes of oral cancer, as well as what steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it.
Are You at Risk?
In the most simplified manner, yes. Everyone at any age is at risk of developing oral cancer, whether you are a young child, an elderly individual, or any age in-between. This concern consists of the cells contained in your oral tissues mutating. There is no true reason as to how or why this occurs, however, there are practices that can exacerbate the phenomenon.
Mouth cancer refers to cell mutation affecting any area contained within the oral cavity. This includes the lips, throat, cheeks, gums, tongue, and floor and roof of the mouth. The mutation causes the cells to continue to grow and divide as opposed to dying like a healthy cell would, and if not addressed early on, it could be detrimental to your health. For more information about this process, contact our team today.
Threats and Complications
While there is no clear cause of the mutations, there are risk factors that can increase your chances of it occurring. These include tobacco use, excessive sun exposure to your lips, consumption of alcohol, and contraction of human papillomavirus.
When an individual is affected by this mutation in cells, one might experience a number of symptoms. These may include rough white or red patches within the mouth, lip sores that do not heal, ear pain, mouth pain, difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing, loose teeth, and even a noticeable growth or bump. If you suspect that you are experiencing any one of these signs, do not hesitate to call our team and learn your next steps.
What We do to Help
Unfortunately, there is not a proven way to prevent mouth cancer, however, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risks. For instance, our team provides oral cancer screenings during your routine checkup and cleanings. During this process, we carefully investigate your oral cavity for signs of abnormalities or symptoms. In addition to this, you can reduce your risk by stopping your use of tobacco, reducing alcohol consumption, and avoiding excessive sun exposure.
Schedule Your Appointment
For more information about oral cancer or to schedule your appointment with our team, contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213 today.