Dental Guides

A Dentist’s Advice on How to Prevent Oral Cancer

Our teeth should be our most prized possessions, but unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way and take them for granted. By this we mean, they do not look after them like they should and before you know it, it’s too late and you start to lose them all one by one and need to get dentures or implants added.

There are many kinds of things that can happen to teeth when not looked after and something as simple as not brushing or flossing properly and regularly every day and every night, can result in various types of gum diseases, bad breath, dementia, pneumonia, diabetes, erectile dysfunction to name a few. If this list of issues sounds surprising to you, know that not taking care of your oral hygiene does not only affect only your mouth but also spreads to the rest of your body. Click here to find out more about this.

There is, however, one very serious condition that can happen to people and this is Mouth cancer or Oral Cancer. Just like many other forms of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening too. Because tumors can develop anywhere where there is a gland that produces saliva, this is when a tumor starts to develop in some part of the mouth and could be anywhere from the lips, gums, surface of the tongue, and even the roof of your mouth or palate.

If this condition is not diagnosed and treated early it could lead to some major health problems which may not be irreversible. This article will discuss this issue and how to prevent it before it’s too late.

How to Prevent Any Mouth Related Issues from Happening to You

One of the best ways to prevent oral cancers from developing is to stop smoking tobacco or ingesting any tobacco-related products such as chewing tobacco.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol as well. Always keep it within moderation, and in the case, you do have one or two glasses of wine, make sure you brush your teeth after. 

Eating a balanced diet is also one of the many things you can do to avoid any types of oral unpleasantries. A well-balanced Diet includes things such as fiber-rich fresh vegetables and fruits, Cheese, plant-based milk, whole grains and legumes, lean proteins, nuts, and seeds.

Although a point to note while mentioning food groups here is that eating some types of fruits can be bad for your teeth, especially the ones that have a lot of acidic properties in them and as nice as they may be and packed with Vitamin C, consuming too many citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, can cause your enamel to erode and affect any mouth sores in a bad way. And of course, all the other culprits such as carbonated drinks, sugary candies, dried fruits (your better off eating the fresh versions of these), junk foods like crisps, chewing on ice cubes which can chip or crack your teeth to name a few.

Your skin is just as susceptible to getting cancer as your mouth, so make sure you apply high-SPF sunscreen, and that it is “broad spectrum”. On your lips, make sure you use an SPF lip balm too. Lastly and the most important one is to go for regular oral examinations at your dentist.

Brushing after every meal or at least twice a day, morning, and at night before sleeping, and flossing at the same time, is also a good preventative measure to practice. Some would go so far as to rinse their mouth with mouth wash before and after brushing too.

Some medications can also affect the teeth so make sure you discuss this with your doctor and your dentist. I which case you will need to be extra careful about all of the above preventative measures.

Oral Cancer – What to Know

At the dentist, in order to figure out what’s going on in your mouth, when you have any of the above issues, the dentist, who have the right tools and techniques, and will do an examination such as the Eschenbach oral cancer screening to check for both precancerous and cancerous signs. This visual examination is usually coupled with a physical one to check both your mouth and your throat to detect any abnormalities around the tissue surrounding these areas.

In the case where they may see something that looks out of place, the dentist will then perform another simple test to collect a few cells from any lesions that may look suspicious and send this sample to the laboratories for inspection and further tests. If the test comes back positive the next step will be to do a biopsy, to help prevent cancer and treat it.  

As mentioned above, if people visit their dentists regularly, the chances of sorting anything out before it gets worse are much higher when doing this. One such instant is oral cancer, and these have signs and symptoms too. The list of symptoms below covers a few common ones:

  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Painful Mouth ulcers that won’t heal within a few weeks
  • Lumps in the mouth or throat that stay for long periods
  • A bleeding mouth sore that does not heal after a few days
  • Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
  • Pain anywhere inside the mouth or on the lips
  • A spot that feels rough, or a lump anywhere in your mouth, gums, or in your throat
  • Unexpected numbness on the lips or gums

There is not just one type, but rather a few different ones which may be less common, however, the common one is the “Squamous cell carcinoma”. These cells can be found in any other part of the body too. This source can give you some detailed information regarding these.

Others that can take place include “adenocarcinoma”, which affects saliva glands, or the “sarcoma” which erupts from any bone abnormalities, or muscle and tissue inconsistencies. The “oral malignant melanoma” starts in the cells that produce skin pigment (melanocytes) and often appear as dark swellings that bleed. The one found in the lymph glands is called “lymphoma” and can grow in the mouth as well.

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