- Oral cancer, a severe illness affecting the mouth region, can spread if not detected and treated early.
- Tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, HPV infection, poor oral hygiene, and sun exposure are leading causes.
- Installing dental implants can help reduce the risk by preventing bacterial and viral accumulation in mouth gaps.
- Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, practicing good oral hygiene, and moderating alcohol and tobacco use are preventive measures.
- Regular dental check-ups can help detect early signs of oral cancer and maintain oral health.
Oral cancer is a severe and potentially life-threatening disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle choices. It is estimated that over 50,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone, and unfortunately, many of these cases will be fatal. But what are the leading reasons for oral cancer today? Here’s what you need to know about oral cancer, the leading reasons for it, and ways to prevent it.
What is Oral Cancer?
First, it’s essential to understand what oral cancer is and how it affects the body. Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer or oral cavity cancer, refers to any abnormal cell growth in the mouth area. This can include the lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth, and throat. If not caught early and treated promptly, oral cancer can spread to other body parts, making it more challenging and potentially deadly.
Leading Causes of Oral Cancer
While anyone can develop oral cancer, certain factors increase a person’s risk of developing this disease. Here are some of the leading causes of oral cancer:
1. Tobacco Use
One of the main causes of oral cancer today is tobacco use. Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco contains harmful chemicals that can cause mutations in the mouth and throat cells, which can lead to cancer. If you are a smoker or user of smokeless tobacco, quitting as soon as possible is essential to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.
2. Alcohol Consumption
Another leading reason for oral cancer is excessive alcohol consumption. Research shows that people who drink heavily are more likely to develop this disease than those who do not. To reduce your risk, stick to moderate alcohol consumption and try to avoid binge drinking.
3. HPV Infection
HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause oral cancer. Research has shown that HPV accounts for around 70% of oropharyngeal cancers. To reduce your risk of HPV infection, practice safe sex and get vaccinated if eligible.
4. Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is another leading cause of oral cancer. When you fail to brush and floss regularly, bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause inflammation, eventually leading to cancer.
5. Sun Exposure
While it may not be as well-known, excessive sun exposure can also increase your risk of oral cancer. The lips are particularly vulnerable to UV radiation, damaging the cells and increasing cancer risk.
Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer. Here are five tips for prevention:
Replace Missing Teeth
Gaps between your teeth can breed bacteria and viruses. Installing robust dental implants from a reputable dental clinic is essential. This can help keep harmful substances out of your system. These implants are made of zinc, which can reduce inflammation in your mouth.
Consume Nutritious Meals
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential to avoid oral cancer. These foods contain vitamins and antioxidants that help boost your immune system and fight off harmful substances.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing daily are critical for maintaining good oral health. It removes bacteria and plaque buildup, keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
Limit Tobacco and Alcohol Use
As mentioned earlier, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are leading causes of oral cancer. Limiting or quitting these habits can significantly reduce your risk of developing this disease.
Get Regular Dental Check-Ups
Regular visits to the dentist can help detect early signs of oral cancer and other oral health issues. You should visit your dentist at least twice yearly for routine check-ups and cleanings.
Oral cancer may be severe and potentially fatal, but healthy lifestyle choices can prevent it. Understanding the leading causes of oral cancer and taking preventive measures can reduce your risk and maintain good oral health. Remember to practice good oral hygiene, limit tobacco and alcohol use, and visit your dentist regularly for a healthy mouth and body. So take care of your mouth – it’s essential to your overall well-being.