April has been designated as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Thus, dentists around the country are making an effort to raise the awareness about this disease that over 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with every year and over 10,000 will succumb to. Your dentist in Lawrenceville is weighing in to do his part by reminding you of how preventive care visits to his office serve as one of the best ways to combat oral cancer. To learn more, continue reading.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is the result of the uncontrollable growth of mutated cells in your mouth and throat.
Here’s how it affects the two areas:
- Mouth – When in your oral cavity, oral cancer can be found on the lips, cheek lining, gums, front of the tongue and the hard palate (roof of your mouth).
- Throat – When in the throat, it can be found on the tonsils and at the base of the tongue (considered as part of the throat).
How Preventive Care Visits to Your Dentist Can be Helpful
When you go in to visit your dentist for semi-annual care, you’ll receive a thorough cleaning to remove harmful bacteria, plaque and tartar. In addition, your local professional will also perform a tedious oral cancer screening.
This is vital because one of the best ways to improve the survival rates of oral cancer is through early detection. The latter also affords you and your dentist the ability to explore more treatment options.
Your Oral Hygiene Matters!
Another key point to keep in mind is that your oral hygiene is of the utmost importance. That’s because scientists and dentists have discovered that one of the major contributors to the growth of cancerous cells in the mouth and throat is bacteria accumulation.
Thus, brushing and flossing at least two times a day serve as key weapons in protecting you from oral cancer. Brushing will agitate debris that collect on your teeth after eating and drinking. Flossing then goes into the hard-to-reach areas between your teeth to remove leftover food particles that attract bacteria.
Habits That You Should Avoid
Along with practicing excellent oral hygiene, it’s best to avoid the following habits to lessen your chances of developing oral cancer:
- Chewing or smoking tobacco
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Eating an abundance of processed foods
- Overexposure to sunlight (especially for those to work in constant sunlight)
The overall theme here is to be proactive and not wait for adverse symptoms to appear before taking action. The process of protecting yourself starts simply with you reaching out to your local dentist to schedule an appointment.
About the Author
For over 30 years Dr. Bruce Carter has been putting smiles on the faces of his patients. This highly skilled dentist is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry and is also a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, where he has accumulated over 1000 hours of continuing education. In addition, he has received training at the Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education in complex dental problems. Dr. Carter can be reached for more information about his services through his website.