April 20, 2019
April has been designated as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and the goal of dentists around the country is to encourage people to make preventive care a priority. As you read on, learn about the importance of receiving an oral cancer screening when you visit your dentist in Richardson, and also discover some ways to avoid the disease.
The Primary Contributors to Oral Cancer
Cancer cells are always developing, but the body’s immune system, when functioning properly, eliminates them. However, there are certain factors that hinder the natural inhibitors, such as:
- Tobacco use
- Over-exposure to the sun
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- A high consumption of sugar
- A diet high in processed ingredients
Why Early Detection is So Important
Whether you engage in any of the above habits or not, it’s imperative to visit your dentist for preventive care, which includes an oral cancer screening. This is important because with early detection, the five-year survival rate is up to 75%. However, if the condition is allowed to develop to more aggressive stages, the survival rate falls to around 20%.
Here are some of the common symptoms of the disease:
- Red or white patches
- Lumps in the oral cavity
- Signs of numbness in the mouth or lips
- Sores and bumps that have persisted more than a few days
Ways to Prevent Oral Cancer
Bacteria have been discovered to be one of the prime contributors to the development of oral cancer. The microorganisms are always present, but they appear in greater abundance when sugar is present. Thus, to stop their growth, a viable strategy is to deprive them of the sustenance they desire and to make some improvements in your oral hygiene routine.
Satisfy a Sweet Craving with Fruits
If you have a tendency to consume items like candy, desserts, juices and sodas that are high in sugar, then an alternative is to eat fruits. You can even use them to make your own juice, which eliminates the harmful additives that are found in most store-bought options.
The natural sugars are far less detrimental to your oral health, while still satisfying your sweet craving.
Brush and Floss Regularly
When you brush and floss your teeth at least two times a day, it helps to remove lingering debris that could contribute to bacteria growth. Additionally, it leaves you with stronger teeth and healthy gums.
While it’s projected that nearly 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and 20% of those cases will be fatal, you have the ability to take control of your oral health by visiting your dentist on a regular basis for preventive care. In doing so, you can have the peace-of-mind of knowing that you’re protected and healthy!
About the Author
Dr. Mike Hamid Mirsepasi has been providing the absolute best in dental care for over 20 years. Throughout his career, he has maintained a commitment to helping each patient maintain excellent oral health by placing an emphasis on preventive care. Dr. Mirsepasi performs oral cancer screenings at HM Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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