At Iron Horse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we know that oral cancer prevention in Leawood is incredibly important. People do not speak about oral cancer on a frequent basis. It is a quiet killer that very often goes undiscussed and unnoticed due to being difficult for many people to notice. Since one cannot see inside his or her mouth, if a patient develops any of the signs, then the patient probably would not be aware of it until visiting a dentist. The problem is that oral cancer kills one person every day in the United States. The best thing you can do to fight oral cancer is to decrease your risk factors and receive screenings on a regular basis.
With any cancer, the sooner one detects it and begins treatment, the better. If an individual can treat oral cancer before it spreads, then he or she will have access to more treatment methods and may not require treatment for as long as someone that catches it in a later stage. We do not treat cancer in our office, for that, patients need to see an oncologist. However, we can be the first line of defense in detecting it. We conduct oral cancer screenings and can let patients know if they are displaying any physical signs of oral cancer or if there are any signs that abnormal cells are developing. with our detection, patients can go to an oncologist right away and begin fighting the disease.
Oral Cancer Prevention in Leawood
In order to prevent oral cancer, people can start by eliminating the risk factors from daily life. Just like it is important to change one’s diet for the health of one’s heart, the health of one’s mouth depends on making lifestyle changes as well.
Oral Cancer Prevention includes reducing or eliminating these risks
Stop using tobacco products
The highest known risk of getting oral cancer is chewing tobacco products. Smoking is a risk as well, but nothing compares with putting a packet of chew in your mouth. People that chew tend to keep tobacco in their mouths for long periods of time. We cannot encourage one strongly enough to quit chewing tobacco or smoking.
Drinking too much alcohol
People that drink excessively increase the risk of oral cancer. The level of alcohol that is considered excessive has long been debated by doctors and scientists. We cannot tell people exactly how many beers per day are safe, but people may want to discuss their alcohol usage with an MD if they are drinking on a daily basis.
Overexposure to the sun
For the health of one’s skin, lips and mouth, limit direct sun exposure. Getting outside is healthy, but wear a sun hat and sunscreen to prevent burning the skin. It is also beneficial to try to avoid being in the sun during the midday heat to prevent burns.
Anyone who has the HPV virus is at an increased risk for oral cancer. The HPV virus is becoming more and more common, and an MD can provide patients with details on how to protect against it.
In addition to eliminating these risk factors, you can engage in oral cancer prevention by keeping yourself healthy overall. When you eat a balanced diet that is high in the nutrients your body needs, exercise, and take steps to prevent things like gum disease, your body will be healthier and better equipped to fight any illness that comes your way. In the meantime, stay alert and visit us for a cancer screening once per year.
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