How Can I Protect My Family From Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer screenings in Marietta
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Oral cancer is a relatively common type of cancer, affecting around 50,000 Americans each year. With the help of regular oral cancer screenings, dentists can identify the early symptoms and refer people for treatment. When Marietta patients miss their regular oral examinations, any cancer issue will have more time to spread, making treatment more complex. So, how can you best protect yourself and your family from oral cancer?

7 Ways to Protect Your Family From Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the broad term for any type of mouth cancer. When cancer is detected at an early stage, 5-year survival rates are as high as 85%. However, nearly half of all diagnoses occur after cancer has spread to surrounding tissue, organs or lymph nodes. Following a healthy lifestyle – along with some simple steps – are key to maintaining good oral health in general and in helping protect your family from oral cancer.

1. Pay Attention to Common Oral Cancer Symptoms

Look out for persistent bleeding in the mouth, sores that won’t heal, lumps in the neck or mouth and ongoing pain. Make an appointment for an oral cancer screening at the first sign of an issue.

2. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

One reason why getting your teeth cleaned is important is that it allows your dentist to get a close look at your mouth. Make sure to schedule oral exams at least every six months for overall good oral health. Oral cancer screenings are included within scheduled dental cleanings.

3. Stop Smoking

Smoking and chewing tobacco increase the chances of getting oral and other types of cancer. Secondhand smoke can also put family members at risk, so try to quit as soon as possible.

4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Heavy drinking increases the chances of getting oral cancer. In addition, the combination of consistent alcohol consumption and tobacco use further exacerbates the problem.

5. Check Your Mouth for Unusual Signs

Checking your mouth in the mirror can help identify signs that could warrant an oral cancer screening. Each month, inspect your mouth, tongue and gums for ulcers and anything unexpected.

6. Take Steps to Prevent HPV Infections

A human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is one factor that causes oral cancer in some patients. There are practices to reduce risk; consult your physician for further information. An HPV vaccine may be recommended depending on your age.

7. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Along with your regular dental cleanings and oral exams, make sure to practice daily oral care at home. Brushing your teeth twice daily and regular flossing will keep your teeth and gums healthy – and offer additional benefits to the immune system.

Contact Us for Oral Cancer Screenings in Marietta

Shining Smiles Family Dentistry provides oral cancer screenings, dental cleanings, oral exams and many other family, restorative and cosmetic dental treatments. Visit our Marietta dental practice for expert care. Call (770) 420-8550 or request an appointment today.

Meet Dr. Shaila Mohip-Chahwala

We cater to Marietta residents looking for a family dentist to improve their oral health and help them look and feel great.

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