Oral cancer screenings are a part of every regular dental checkup at Mosaic Dental. Our Troy, MI dentist will check the mouth for signs and symptoms of oral cancer. The best way to prevent oral cancer, however, is to be proactive about reducing your risk factors between exams. Here are 6 lifestyle tips to follow for a clean bill of health.
1. Cut out tobacco.
Cigarettes are known to cause lung cancer, but did you know they’re one of the leading oral cancer causes as well? Even just smoking the occasional cigar is enough to increase your chances of developing oral cancer.
But non-smokers aren’t automatically in the clear. Tobacco in any form is dangerous, including chewing tobacco or snuff. If you haven’t already kicked your tobacco habit, this is a good time to start: 75% ofpatients 50 and older have been tobacco users.
2. Drink in moderation.
When it comes to alcohol, the less you drink, the better.is six times more likely to develop in drinkers than in non-drinkers. Studies have linked cirrhosis of the liver as well as dehydration that occurs when drinking to the formation of oral cancer cells.
3. Avoid sun exposure.
Just as you would apply sunscreen before heading to the beach, you should be protecting your lips as well. Excess sun exposure around your mouth can lead to oral cancer.
Most types of sunscreen that you buy for your body aren’t optimized for use on the lips. To protect against oral cancer, opt for a chapstick with SPF and reapply throughout the day for maximum protection. It also helps to wear a wide-brimmed hat that keeps the sun off your face.
4. Learn your history.
If you have a family history of any type of cancer, you run a higher risk of developing oral cancer. While a family history certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’ll experience cancer firsthand, learning about your genetic predispositions can help you make mindful choices regarding your health.
It’s a good idea to bring up your family history during your oral cancer screening, as well. Our Troy family dentist can advise you about reducing your risk long-term.
5. Get the HPV vaccine.
Certain types of human papillomavirus, or HPV, can increase your risk of oral cancer. If you’re eligible, consider getting the HPV vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus altogether, thereby reducing your chances of developing oral cancer.
At your oral cancer screening, Dr. Giera will look for visible abnormalities and probe the mouth to feel for anything unusual. It’s important to be honest with her about your lifestyle so she can work with you to prevent oral cancer.
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6. See Our Dentist Regularly
Even if you don’t have any of the risk factors for oral cancer, it’s still important that you see our dentist at least every 6 months for preventive dental care. That way, we’ll be able to perform an oral cancer screening and detect any abnormalities in their early stages. The earlier we’re able to detect cancer, the better your chance of survival.
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Although making educated lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of developing oral cancer, there is no guaranteed way to prevent the disease. That’s why regular checkups with our Fill out our contact form to request an appointment, or call us at (248) 528-2270!are so important.