Every time you visit our Longmont dentist office for a comprehensive dental exam, we screen you for signs of oral cancer. The key to detecting oral cancer is early detection, and what better time to refresh our minds about oral cancer than April: Oral Cancer Awareness Month. As the dentist Longmont residents trust with their oral health and holistic dentistry needs, feel confident that your health and smile are our priority. Signs of oral cancer aren’t always detected without the help of a professional so knowing the risk factors can help you remain in good health.
Though everyone is susceptible to oral cancer, certain groups are at higher risk levels for the disease than others. The risk of oral cancer develops with age. In fact, people between ages 40 and 65 account for the majority of oral cancer diagnoses. Luckily, our Longmont dentist looks for signs of oral cancer at your dental exam every six months. The attention to your oral health allows us to detect problems early so the cancer doesn’t progress.
Compared to women, men are twice as susceptible to developing oral cancer. This risk factor, however, is lessening as more and more people become health conscious. Tobacco and alcohol use attributed to this risk factor in the past and is changing as less is consumed.
Alcohol and Tobacco Use
As mentioned above, using tobacco and alcohol on a regular basis can increase your risk of oral cancer. Tobacco use is associated often with cancer found in the gums, cheeks, and throat. While non-smokers can still develop oral cancer, their chances in this risk factor category are significantly less. Alcohol still plays a role if the patient is a heavy drinker.
An unhealthy diet is another factor we discuss when our Longmont dentist performs an oral cancer screening. Diets low in vegetables and fruit put patients at higher risk. If you have concerns or fall into any of these categories, talk with our team. Our bi-yearly exams help you avoid dangerous consequences by looking for signs of oral cancer.
Signs of oral cancer are discoloration of soft tissue, lumps in soft tissues, sores that won’t heal, and bleeding gums, to name a few. Unfortunately, by the time these signs are noticeable to you, the oral cancer has progressed. Our training and tools reduce the detection time significantly.
If you haven’t visited a dentist in some time, consider Oral Cancer Awareness Month as a time to start. Good oral health care consists of a healthy diet, a good oral hygiene regimen, and professional dental visits with our Longmont dentist. With early detection and preventative dentistry practices you significantly lower your risk of oral cancer. Learn more about oral health on our Facebook page or call our office to discuss our services.