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Oral Cancer Series: Last Chapter

By Jill Feilmeier on April 24, 2012 in Dental Health

Dentist working on patient

Oral cancer is not an easy topic to discuss and Delta Dental of Iowa would like to thank you for taking the time to become aware of your risk, the process of diagnosis and what to look for to catch oral cancer. You should carry this information with you and teach anyone who is willing to listen. Education is the key to prevention.

Teach your grandchildren the risks associated with drinking and smoking. Make sure your family knows smoking and drinking are not only bad for their health; they also can lead to oral cancer.

Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol in the present are not the only factors to think about. Past use also contributes to a higher risk. If you have not classified yourself as being at  high risk for oral cancer, but have used alcohol or smoked in the past, you may still be at risk. It wasn't that many years ago that the public really became educated on the risks of tobacco.

If you happened to smoke or drink heavily in the past, but have since quit, you should still classify yourself as a high risk individual and pay more attention to changes that occur in your mouth.

As we age, our body becomes less efficient at fighting mutations and viruses. This decreased efficiency opens the doors for cancer to develop and spread. We want to make sure we are monitoring our oral health at all times and remember to report any lesions, lumps, or changes in your mouth to your dentists.

Ask for an oral screening once a year, and be aware if you are a high risk individual. You will reduce your odds of developing oral cancer greatly if you take the time to visit the dentist and check your mouth. Stay healthy!