Any dental practice is aware of the consequences of dry mouth. Xerostomia is characterized by a deficiency in the production of saliva. Saliva keeps the mouth wet and neutralizes the acids that bacteria produce. It flushes out food particles, controls the growth of bacteria, and aids in digestion. A decrease in saliva production can affect…
A List of Oral Cancer Risk Factors
Oral cancer can be an incredibly concerning condition, and many are curious as to what puts one at a greater risk of developing oral cancer. While there are certain risk factors that are unavoidable, there are things that can be done to lower the chance of oral cancer, such as practicing good oral hygiene, giving up tobacco products and limiting alcohol intake.
Oral cancer risk factors
By fully understanding the biggest risk factors of oral cancer, you can take action to try and prevent the development of oral cancer. The following are the four biggest risks associated with the development of oral cancer.
Men are unfortunately twice more likely to develop oral cancer than women. However, the link between gender and the risk of oral cancer is highly debated among medical professionals.
Many experts believe the link between men and the increase in oral cancer is simply due to the fact that men generally consume tobacco products and alcohol at a higher rate than women, and the correlation between oral cancer and men is simply due to other risk factors being more prevalent in men. Regardless of the exact reason for the correlation, men should ensure good oral hygiene is practiced to best limit their chance of developing oral cancer.
As is the case with many different types of cancer, the older the individual the higher the chance of developing oral cancer. In general, it is believed that individuals over the age of fifty-five are at a much higher risk of oral cancer than younger individuals. However, younger individuals can still be at high risk of oral cancer, particularly those who suffer from HPV. Those over the age of fifty-five—especially men—should ensure good oral hygiene is practiced and visit the dentist regularly for an oral cancer screening.
Tobacco is very detrimental to the health of an individual, regardless of how it is consumed. Tobacco that is smoked increases the risk of various types of cancer, including oral cancer. Chewing tobacco and other forms of smokeless tobacco place individuals at a much higher risk of gum and lip cancer along with various other forms of oral cancer. Subsequently, those who use tobacco should consider quitting, or at the least, should visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning on a regular basis.
A heavy level of alcohol consumption can drastically increase the risk of developing oral cancer. In fact, around 70 percent of oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. Individuals who consume alcohol on a daily basis are considered to be at a much higher risk of developing oral cancer. Not only does alcohol increase the chance of oral cancer, but it is harmful to the teeth and entire mouth overall.
It is important to limit alcohol intake in order to reduce the chance of developing oral cancer. For those who drink daily, constant visits to the dentist, a good oral hygiene routine and oral cancer screenings are highly encouraged.
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