Tips For A Brighter Smile

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Taking Steps To Prevent Oral Cancer

No one wants to think about the possibility of being diagnosed with some form of oral cancer, but the fact is, this kind of cancer afflicts thousands of Americans every single year. When caught early, it can usually be treated, but when caught late, it has a precariously low survival rate – a great reason to invest in annual oral cancer screening at your local periodontist office.
Technically, no one knows exactly what causes most cases of oral cancer – at least, it can’t yet be proved. But there are many suspected causes and verified “risk factors” that you can work to reduce or eliminate.

Aside from annual check ups and screenings, here are some ways you can reduce your risk level and likely prevent oral cancer:

1. Maintain Great Oral Hygiene
You can’t guarantee you won’t get oral cancer by brushing your teeth, but the fact is, those who maintain high oral hygiene have lower risk of oral cancer. Focus on your daily oral health regimen, and don’t neglect regular dental and periodontal check ups!

2. Eat Fruits & Vegetables
The natural nutrients found in ordinary fresh fruits and vegetables found at your local supermarket do much to increase overall health and reduce risk of oral cancer. The antioxidants will clean out your system, while vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties increase immune health and reduce the chances of infections and cancerous growths.

The greater variety of produce you consume, the better. No one food has it all – so mix it up! Also, avoid frying or overcooking, and eat as many veggies and fruits raw as possible for the maximum benefit.

3. Avoid Tobacco & Heavy Drinking
The number one suspected cause of most oral cancer is use of tobacco products, be it cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco. The chemicals included in these products, aside from the tobacco itself, are thought by many to trigger the formation of cancer cells in the mouth after many years of exposure.

Also, be sure to avoid second hand smoke as much as possible since this also increases risk.

Finally, while drinking in moderation may not be a problem, those who drink heavily for years on end have a much higher risk of developing throat cancer.

4. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure
In regard to lip cancer, which is classified as a variety of oral cancer, the cause is not difficult to ascertain – overexposure to intense sun rays, including UV rays.

Limiting your time at the beach and out in the bright, blazing sunshine to reasonable levels, wearing sunscreen, using lip balm, and wearing a broad brimmed hat are all possible ways to reduce sun exposure and reduce risk.

5. Guard Against HPV
One of the leading, but most recent, major risk factors for getting oral cancer is the HPV virus. This virus resides harmlessly in most people’s mouths, and it only occasionally causes problems.

Those who are sexually active before getting an HPV vaccination, who have multiple sexual partners, or who don’t practice safe sex are especially at risk of contracting oral cancer causing HPV.

These are five key ways in which practically anyone can minimize his or her risk of getting any form of oral cancer. Combine that with annual screening, and you’re as safe as you can be. To learn more, contact periodontist Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, Florida, for a free consultation.

Start smiling brighter, laughing harder, and being more confident.

Ormond Beach Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is conveniently located on Nova Road in Ormond Beach, Florida. We help seniors, adults, and teenagers smile with confidence.

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