One important objective that our Novato dentists complete during semi-annual evaluations is an oral cancer screening. Because many oral cancers develop asymptomatically in their earliest stages, professional screenings are crucial for readily identifying and treating cancerous tissues. Keep reading to learn more about some of the risk factors for developing oral cancers, as well signs and symptoms.
There are some risk factors for developing oral cancers that we simply cannot control: things like age, family history, and race. However, when we are aware of these risk factors, we can be diligent about seeking professional support. So, as you get older, and if you have a family history of oral cancer, talk to your dentists about additional screenings or treatments that may be appropriate for you.
Then, there are those risk factors that are well within our control. Oftentimes, by making simple changes to our habits and lifestyles, we can help minimize our risk of cancer development. The following things increase your risk of experiencing oral cancer:
- Alcohol: regular alcohol drinkers, especially those who drink hard liquors, have higher instances of oral cancer compared to the general population.
- Diet: when it comes to what you eat, healthy foods, like antioxidant and fiber-rich fruits and veggies can help safeguard your smile. Any time that you can swap out fatty or sugary treats for healthier alternatives, you’re investing in your future health.
- Tobacco: whether it’s cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco, tobacco is carcinogenic, and thus increases your cancer risk. It is best to cut tobacco out of your daily routine entirely.
By taking steps to support your oral health now, you can minimize your chances of developing dental problems in the future. Our Novato dentists are here to give you all of the additional information and support that you need; please don’t hesitate to give us a call!