Learn How to Identify and Prevent Oral Cancer Symptoms
In 2015, approximately 46,000 new cases of oral cancer will be discovered in the United States. While the likelihood of development increases with age, about 1 out of 4 people under the age of 55 will be diagnosed with oral cancer. Are you taking the proper precautions to reduce your chances of contributing to this statistic?
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer affects various parts of the oral cavity, such as the mouth, throat, lips and tongue. Symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Tongue pain
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- A sore that does not heal
- Difficulty swallowing/painful swallowing
- Difficulty chewing/painful chewing
- Loose teeth/change in the fit of dentures
- Thickening of the skin lining of your mouth/lump in mouth
- Development of white/reddish patches in the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Ear pain
Oral Cancer Prevention Methods
Preventing oral cancer begins with making positive lifestyle choices. For those currently battling this condition, it is even more important to follow the below steps to help keep your body functioning during treatment. Our Cooper City clients are advised to follow these precautionary steps to help ward off any oral cancer symptoms:
- Brush and floss regularly. Your oral hygiene routine is the first step to maintaining a healthy mouth. Without this, you could be compromising your immune system and lose your inability to fight off cancer inducing factors.
- Regular exercise. Maintain a regular exercise regimen to keep your immune system strong and maintain a healthy weight for your age and height.
- Choose your foods wisely. Limit your intake of high calorie foods; instead, choose foods that are high in anti oxidants, such as most fruits and vegetables. The vitamins in these foods also act as cancer preventing agents. Whole grain breads, cereals and lean meats should also be incorporated into your diet. For oral cancer patients, healthy nutrition is crucial to helping the body run at a standard level and will help refuel it with the nutrients that are lost during treatment.
- Quit the use of tobacco and limit alcohol intake. These are two of the leading causes of oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 70% of people who develop oral cancer consume alcohol regularly. Combine this habit with the use of tobacco and your risk increases significantly. This also includes smokeless tobacco users (such as snuff, dip, chewing tobacco) are also more likely to develop cancers in areas of the mouth such as the cheek, gums and lining of the lips.
- Visit your dentist regularly. During a routine check-up, your dentist can pinpoint any abnormal tissue changes, allowing cancer detection in its early stages. At Beaufils Dental, our patients can request that we inspect their entire mouth for any abnormal tissues that can indicate the potential of oral cancer.
Knowledge is the first step towards preventing oral cancer. We are a dental office in Cooper City who educates our patients on the risks associated with poor oral hygiene. Early detection is the key to tackling oral cancer and that can only be done through regular visits to the dentist. Schedule your 1-on-1 consultation with us today and learn more about how you can prevent oral cancer through proper hygiene and other lifestyle choices.