Do you view diseases like oral cancer as distant concerns, far removed from your life and reality? It would be great to live in a world where this was so. Unfortunately, the following statistics show that oral cancer is a very near—and deadly—threat to many:
In light of these startling facts, what can we do to keep ourselves—and our loved ones—safe? As we at Thornhill Periodontics are passionate about preventive care for our Thornhill and Newmarket patients, read on to learn about the symptoms of oral cancer as well as proven tips to defend against it.
More often than not, oral cancer appears as a sore, swelling, or growth in the mouth that simply doesn’t go away. This kind of cancer usually forms on the lips, tongue, or under the tongue, but it can also be found within cheeks, on gums, and on the roof of the mouth. Here are some other signs of oral cancer:
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for some time, we urge you to give us a call and set up an appointment with us so we can examine your mouth. But what if you aren’t experiencing any of the above symptoms? No matter how old you are or what your oral health history has looked like, read on to learn the best ways to keep oral cancer at bay.
1. Steer clear of tobacco use. This is an important tip. According to the Mouth Cancer Foundation, 90% of all people with oral cancer use tobacco in some form. Heeding this advice alone will dramatically increase your chances of evading oral cancer, not to mention other diseases like lung cancer and emphysema.
2. Avoid heavy consumption of alcohol. Did you know that in the UK, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol was linked to about 1/3 of all oral cancer cases? (Oral Health Foundation) Moreover, for those engaged in continuous tobacco and alcohol use, the chances of getting oral cancer skyrocket. Moderation is the word to remember here
3. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association offered this key finding: “Current evidence supports a recommendation of a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a whole-foods, plant-based diet with limited consumption of meat, particularly processed meat.” Clearly, eating healthy can keep you cancer-free.
4. Develop and maintain good oral hygiene. Because oral cancer is 2.5 times higher in people with periodontal disease—and 60 times higher in those with 6 or more missing teeth—it pays to be consistent with personal oral care. Mastering the habits of smile maintenance, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily, go a long way toward staving off oral cancer.
5. See a good dentist on a regular basis. We’re not just saying this because we’re a dental clinic either. Reports from the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research are clear: “If this condition is caught early enough, the chances of successful treatment are high.” Because oral cancer is often difficult to self-diagnose, regular dental checkups can nip oral cancer in the bud.
Don’t let the fear of oral cancer rob you of the joy of living—make an appointment with us at Thornhill Periodontics today. We’ll give you the knowledge and treatment you need to ensure oral cancer keeps its distance from you and your family.
Dr. Leonard Schwartz
8500 Leslie St. Suite 540
Canada L3T 7M8
Monday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 7:00pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 4:00pm (alternates)