Oral cancer occurs when cells inside the mouth start mutating their DNA. These mutations further lead to the growth of cancer cells. The accumulation of cancerous cells results in severe damage to the surrounding tissue. There are high chances of cancer spreading to other parts of the body. Some common symptoms of oral cancer include bleeding sores, unhealed sores, loose teeth, development of lumps in the lining of the mouth, pain in the tongue, jaw stiffness, etc. Contact your Willowbrook, IL family dentist to get an appointment and discuss all your dental issues.
Oral cancer can be prevented by changing your lifestyle and taking the necessary precautions.
- Stop the consumption of tobacco.
Chewing or smoking tobacco can create gray-white ulcers in the mouth, known as leukoplakia. These ulcers can develop and become cancerous with time. Consumption of tobacco without smoking also damages your body’s immunity to protect itself from cancer.
- Moderate alcohol consumption, or avoid it entirely if possible
Consistent consumption of alcohol impairs the body’s capacity to fight cancer and increases the risk of severe damage. Excessive drinking is highly harmful to health as it can lead to the development of cancer.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
A lot of people do not take dental visits seriously. Regular checkups are essential for leading a healthy life as they help timely detect gum diseases and even initial symptoms of cancer in the mouth. Proper treatment and recovery are possible if the diagnosis is made on time. Tardiness in checkups can severely hamper your life. Along with regular visits, make sure to maintain good dental hygiene and brush twice a day, followed by flossing.
- Protect your lips from the sun.
Cancer in the mouth can occur due to UV radiation from the sun. It is more common in people who work outside for long periods because they are more exposed to the sun than others. The lips are very sensitive to the sun. It is essential to limit your exposure to the sun and always wear sunscreen when you are out. SPF lip balms are great options for protecting your lips from the sun’s harsh rays. Also, wear head covers while you are out to prevent extra damage.
- HPV vaccination
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer. It starts developing in the back area of your mouth. It is sexually transmissive. Make sure to get the vaccination for HPV before engaging in any sexual activity. Practice safe sexual activities even after vaccination to reduce the chances of oral cancer.