[:en]You know the common signs of bad dental health when you see or smell them. Yellowing teeth, bad breath and toothache are all common tell-tales that you aren’t properly taking care of your mouth. While skipping preventative dental care may lead to tooth discomfort or unpleasant conversation, it can also lead to cancer of the mouth. In honor of Mouth Cancer Action Month, your local dentist at Smile Workshop New Braunfels will discuss the relation to mouth cancer and dental health and preventative dental care.
How Poor Oral Hygiene is Linked to Mouth Cancer
Poor oral health can be caused by several different factors. Tobacco, alcohol and prolonged sun exposure are all known to be factors that can diminish the overall health of your mouth. These factors in combination with improper oral hygiene habits can lead to some seriously negative effects on your mouth. Preventative dental care like brushing, flossing and rinsing your teeth on a daily basis is the only way to remove the bacteria and plaque that builds up in your mouth. As these bacteria accumulate in your mouth, they can directly enter your bloodstream and spread to the rest of your body.
Since your mouth is the primary entryway to the rest of your body, the cancerous symptoms will likely start in your mouth but can easily spread to the rest of your body. Some studies have stated that poor oral hygiene may be the sole cause of mouth cancer. Practicing preventative dental care may be the only way to avoid this kind of cancer.
Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
There are several symptoms that you may be developing cancer of the mouth. Luckily, most of the symptoms tend to be rather obvious. Like any other form of cancer, early detection is key to removing any cancerous cells before they spread to other parts of the body. Poor dental health has even been shown to cause breast cancer.
One of the most easily detectable symptoms of oral cancer is a sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal on it’s own or bleeds on a regular basis. Growths or lumps inside your mouth are another symptom that should never be avoided. Less obvious symptoms include loose teeth, difficulty swallowing or chewing and a sore throat. Any of these symptoms should be checked out out by an oral health professional immediately.
Preventative Dental Care
There is no way to completely prevent any type of cancer, but avoiding certain things may reduce your risk of mouth cancer significantly. Consuming any kind of tobacco product will greatly increase your chances of developing mouth cancer. Avoiding smoking, chewing tobacco and snuff will do nothing but help your overall health in the long run. Since alcohol can also promote the growth of bacteria and tooth decay, limiting alcohol consumption has also been proven to be effective in safeguarding against mouth cancer. If you choose to drink at all, you should limit it to two drinks per day to ensure optimal oral health.
Most importantly, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day to clean out any bacteria in your mouth. Since plaque is also a big concern, you should also be flossing all of your teeth at least once a day. The biggest way to make an impact on oral health is to visit your local dentist at Smile Workshop at least once every three to six months. A proper dental checkup can be the easiest way to detect any cancerous growths inside of your mouth.
Your dentist is trained to look for specific early signs of cancer you might easily miss. Have any more questions on preventative dental care? Give us a call or schedule an appointment today!
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