A Look at the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is more common than you might think and can be incredibly difficult to treat if it’s not detected in its early stages. Regular oral cancer screenings from your dentist can give you peace of mind and ensure that you get the best, most effective treatment possible if cancer does develop. Continue reading to learn about the common risk factors for oral cancer.

Tobacco Use

Of all of the preventable risk factors for oral cancer, tobacco use tops the charts. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff, and chewing tobacco all increase your chances of developing some form of oral cancer. A variety of carcinogens exist in both smoking and smokeless tobacco, but smoking does seem to have a slightly higher association with oral cancer. Even so, smokeless options are by no means benign. Furthermore, the risk of tobacco-related oral cancer goes up when accompanied by heavy alcohol use.

Poor Diet

The exact mechanism by which inadequate nutrition influences the development of oral cancer is not completely understood, but there is a definite correlation. In particular, a diet very low in beta carotene seems to be a risk factor for oral cancer in particular, and insufficient vitamin C is associated with general cancer risks. More research is needed to establish a protocol for reducing oral cancer risks through diet, but most experts agree that increasing the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is highly beneficial.

Gender and Age

Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, particularly those who are older than 62 years of age. Some experts believe that this is partially due to heavier tobacco and alcohol use among men, though the precise reason for such a large discrepancy is still open for debate.

The best thing you can do to avoid oral cancer is to discontinue unhealthy habits such as smoking and to have regular oral cancer screenings with your dentist. If you’re interested in oral cancer screenings in Hazlet, call Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 847-9039 to schedule an appointment.

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