One of the most unfortunate ailments that can befall an individual is to get cancer. Cancer is a disease that tears families apart from the inside out. There are a wide range of common cancer types that strike individuals when they’re least expecting. Eating wholesome, nutritious meals and exercising can help prevent cancer. However, it’s not a sure thing.
In some cases, if you catch it early enough, you can minimize the effects that cancer will have on your health. At Dental Implants Clinic, we’re passionate about preventing, specifically, mouth cancer in our patients.
So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the causes, signs, and symptoms of oral cancer:
What is Mouth Cancer?
Mouth cancer is cancer that presents itself in the mouth region. However, cancer that develops inside the mouth can be referred to as oral cancer or oral cavity cancer. Places where mouth cancer can develop are:
Floor of the mouth
Roof of the mouth
How do I know if I have Mouth Cancer?
There are a variety of symptoms that mouth cancer presents as that can help you determine whether or not you may currently have it. Keep in mind that these symptoms could be related to other health issues, and that you should come see our specialists to accurately assess whether you may be at risk for mouth cancer.
According to Mayo Clinic,
“Mouth cancer occurs when cells on your lips or in your mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. These mutations allow cancer cells to continue growing and dividing when healthy cells would die. The accumulating abnormal mouth cancer cells can form a tumor. With time they may spread inside the mouth and on to other areas of the head and neck or other parts of the body.Mouth cancers most commonly begin in the flat, thin cells (squamous cells) that line your lips and the inside of your mouth. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.It’s not clear what causes the mutations in squamous cells that lead to mouth cancer. But doctors have identified factors that may increase the risk of mouth cancer.”
What are the Risk Factors of Mouth Cancer?
There are many things that you can unknowingly do that put you at a higher risk for developing mouth cancer. Here are some of the key risk factors:
Ingestion of tobacco, from smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, etc.
Heavy consumption of alcohol
Contracting Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
High sun exposure to lips
A taxed immune system
How to Help Prevent Mouth Cancer
As with all types of cancer, and health issues in general, making healthy choices is a great way to help prevent mouth cancer. Here are a few ways you can reduce your risk:
Quit using Tobacco, as it exposes your oral cells to carcinogenic chemicals
Consume alcohol in moderation, as chronic excessive alcohol ingestion affects the cells in your mouth and leaves them vulnerable to mouth cancer
Eat plenty of fibrous fruits and vegetables, as the vitamins and minerals found within them will bolster your health effectively
Use SPF on your lips or avoid excessive sun exposure to them by staying inside or wearing a wide-brimmed hat with lots of coverage
Don’t skip your dental checkup, as your dentist can examine your entire mouth with a trained eye to determine if there are any signs of mouth cancer.