Most dentists recommend that you have a checkup every six months for a routine cleaning and dental exam. In addition to having your teeth cleaned and checked for decay, you will receive an oral cancer screening from your periodontist in Newton . Oral cancer is a serious disease, and can affect anyone. However, there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of getting oral cancer; some of these are controllable, while others are out of your control. Read on to learn about the risk factors for oral cancer so you can take steps to keep yourself as healthy as possible.
Smokers and people who use chewing tobacco are far more likely to develop oral cancer than those who don’t use tobacco. The risk comes from any sort of tobacco, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. The longer a person has used tobacco, the greater their risk of developing oral cancer. If you are a smoker, now is the time to seriously consider quitting. Smoking adversely affects your overall health, and greatly increases your risk of oral cancer.
Roughly 70 percent of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers, according to the American Cancer Society . Drinking alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer, especially when combined with tobacco use. In fact, some studies show that the risk of oral cancer in people who drink and smoke may be 100 times greater than in those who do not.
Oral cancers are almost twice as prevalent in men as they are in women, possibly due to the fact that men used to be more likely than women to smoke and drink. However, as alcohol and tobacco use is no longer taboo for women in many areas, this statistic could change. Regardless of your gender, talk to your periodontist about your risk for oral cancer and what you can do to reduce it.