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11 / 06 / 2018

Reducing Your Risk Of Oral Cancer

Change Habits And Have Regular Dental Checks To Help Keep Your Mouth Healthy

When people think of dentists, they generally think about their teeth, whether this is about their health or ways in which they can improve their appearance through cosmetic dentistry. Although we certainly do look to see if there are any problems with teeth or gums when you have a check-up at our Ipswich dental practice, this is not all that we check for.

In addition to your teeth and gums, we are also in an ideal situation to be able to spot any changes to your mouth in general, including tongue, lips and cheeks. Although most changes that we see are often quite explainable, it is always good to have these checked by your doctor in case they are potential symptoms of oral cancer. This is a growing concern to the medical profession, but there are a number of ways that you can reduce your risk.

Quit cigarettes

Not just cigarettes, but any type of smoking material. In fact, if you switched from smoking to chewing tobacco, you are actually around 30 times more likely to get oral cancer! Don’t use this as an excuse to keep smoking though – staying well clear of any smoking-related products is the sensible choice.

Some patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice have also asked us about vaping. Whilst we can’t actually ‘recommend’ this, especially as long term effects are largely unknown, it does seem to work in helping people to quit cigarettes, so it may be worth considering if you are unable to stop; at least as a transitional measure.

Alcohol

The odd pint of beer or glass of wine should cause little harm to your oral health. Regular and/or excessive consumption though is almost as harmful as smoking. Try to keep your alcohol intake down and drink more water. This will not only help to prevent a dry mouth, with the associated risk of gum disease, but may also offer some benefits for your liver too.

HPV virus

Increasingly, the HPV virus is a particular concern in the rise of oral cancer. This largely, although not exclusively, affects younger people. The virus is transmitted orally, and, if you are sexually active with a number of partners, it is important that you have a conversation with your GP about the possibility of vaccination.

Good general oral health care

While all of the above contribute to an increased risk of mouth cancer, making sure that your mouth is healthy as possible will also help to prevent it. Much of the responsibility of this falls to patients and how they clean their teeth at home. In addition to this, both a regular check-up with one of our Ipswich dentists, and regular gum and teeth cleaning by our hygienist will help to keep your mouth in good health.

Make sure that you look after your mouth as you may regret it later on if you don’t. If you would like to see a dentist to discuss any aspect of your oral health care, you can call the Lighthouse Dental Practice on 01473 257379 to arrange an appointment. Our friendly team look forward to welcoming you.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

Dee D

stars 1

“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

stars 1

“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

Nick K

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stars 1

“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

Jenny

stars 1

“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

stars 1

“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

stars 1

“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

stars 1

“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I...“

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