Cancer is a word that no one likes to hear. Whenever you go to your doctor for an annual exam, cancer is typically discussed, however. Your doctor may recommend preventative procedures, too, depending on your age. Just like an annual physical exam, our team at Paul D. Nifong, Jr., DDS will also provide you with an oral cancer screening at your dental checkups. Although it is scary to think about the possibility of oral cancer, if caught at an early stage, it is more easily treatable. Age 18 is typically when you should start having an oral cancer screening during your routine dental exam. There are a few things you can do to increase the risk of developing oral cancer, so here are some things to avoid.
- Considerable Sun Exposure is something that can increase the risk for lip cancer. Just as you need to wear sunscreen during months where the UV levels are medium to high, you should also wear ChapStick with a high SPF rating and be sure to reapply it often.
- High Alcohol Use is something that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Alcohol can irritate the interior of your mouth and damage cells. When these cells try to repair themselves, it can lead to changes in DNA, which could be the start of cancer.
- Tobacco Use is the cause of most oral cancers. All forms of tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and even e-cigarettes significantly increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
Here at the office of Paul D. Nifong, Jr., DDS, we perform an oral cancer screening with every dental checkup you have with us. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.