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Mouth Cancer Awareness : Reduce the Risk

Preventive Dental Care is what it says on the can.

The dental team assess the risk of you developing dental diseases, and then work with you to keep you healthy. This could be tooth decay, it could be gum infection, it could be tooth wear. All diseases.

As I said yesterday, another one of those diseases is in fact a group of diseases that we refer to as mouth cancer - affecting the tissues in and around the mouth. In November the dental profession are working to raise awareness of mouth cancer in the community.

Here's a list of the things that increase the risk of developing mouth cancer:

  • Smoking. Tobacco causes most Oral cancers. 75% of oral cancer sufferers have used alcohol, tobacco or both.
  • Alcohol Consumption. Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk. Obviously, reduction is the name of the game, as with smoking
  • HPV Infection. A viral infection caused by sexual contact, affects younger people.
  • Sun. Especially on the lower lip - I have a friend who has recently had an operation to remove a cancerous lesion - he spends a lot of time out of doors. Use of sunscreens, hats, avoiding the midday sun (when we get it..) will help.
  • Previous Oral cancer. Mouth cancer sufferers are more likely to get it again, especially if they continue to smoke...
  • Diet. Some studies indicate that not eating enough fruit and vegetables increases the risk.
  • Gender. Studies show that men are twice as likely to develop mouth cancer as women.
  • Immune Suppression. People on drugs to stop their immune system rejected grafted organs are more likely to develop mouth cancer.
  • Betel Nut Quid. Commonly chewed in Asian communities - a mix of nut, lime and betel leaf with some tobacco.
Its not all doom and gloom - the positive side is that we know a lot more about prevention and campaigns such as this one are raising awareness.

So when you fill in your medical update on arrival at your dental practice, or when your dentist is looking at your face and neck and getting you stick your tongue out, you'll hopefully understand a little more what it is that we all doing for you. We're quietly looking and assessing...

If you're concerned about mouth cancer or any of the issues raised, please get in touch - we'd be glad to help.
Straight teeth in ten weeks : The Inman Aligner
Mouth Cancer Awareness : Know the Signs


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Tuesday, 11 August 2020

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