Tips for Preventing Oral Cancer
It is nearly impossible to maintain a strong, healthy, and beautiful smile without general dentistry services that protect the teeth from dental complications, along with restorative dentistry services that repair oral damage. The benefits of good oral hygiene habits and professional dental care go well beyond a healthy, attractive smile. These practices play an important role in the prevention of oral cancer. Oral cancer damages the tissues of the mouth, and can even be life threatening, especially if it is not treated early. At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, Dr. Bruce Wilderman and his dental team offer tips on preventing oral cancer, so our Philadelphia, PA patients can take an active role in maintaining a healthy mouth and body.
Preventing Oral Cancer
There are no guarantees when it comes to cancer. However, there are steps that individuals can take to actively fight off this harmful disease. The following habits and practices not only promote good oral and physical health, but they can also minimize the risk of oral cancer:
- Brush and floss regularly: Brushing and flossing support good oral health, which is beneficial to the immune system. Patients with poor oral health are more likely to have a compromised immune system, which will result in more difficulty fighting cancer.
- Schedule biannual dental cleanings and examinations: Regular dental cleanings are important because they remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing cannot remove. During dental examinations, we diagnose oral health problems so they can be treated in a timely manner. These services help prevent oral cancer and also ensure that, should oral cancer develop, it will be detected and treated as early as possible.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products: Smoking is one of the primary causes of oral cancer. Refraining from the use of tobacco products goes a long way in preventing oral cancer.
- Drink in moderation: Alcohol has also been linked to oral cancer. To avoid an increased risk of oral cancer, patients should drink no more than one to two alcoholic drinks per day.
- Limit sun exposure: Most people are aware of the need to protect the skin from UV exposure, but the lips are often neglected when it comes to sun protection. Patients should minimize sun exposure, and use sunscreen (including a lip protectant with sunscreen) whenever they are outdoors.
- Maintain an active lifestyle: Physical activity enhances overall health and can boost the immune system. Both are beneficial to the prevention of oral cancer.
- Eat a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients: Many vitamins and minerals have been found to be beneficial to cancer prevention. Some foods that may assist in the fight against oral cancer include leafy vegetables, berries, tomatoes, and beans.
- Conduct self-exams: It is important for people to be aware of their own oral health and any warning signs that may point to oral cancer. We advise patients to examine their mouths once a month. If there are any tender spots, or red, white, or gray patches, they should be reported to our dentists so an exam can be scheduled.
At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, Dr. Bruce Wilderman offers a comprehensive range of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services that will help patients preserve oral health, while avoiding complications such as oral cancer. To learn more about these services, contact us at your earliest convenience.