- Avoid smoking and any type of tobacco product. According to the National Cancer Institute, tobacco use is the leading cause of oral cancer. Tobacco includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco. Not only can use of these products cause oral cancer in the mouth but also parts of the throat.
- Limit alcohol use. Using alcohol is a large risk factor for oral cancer. The more alcoholic drinks consumed daily, the higher the risk of oral cancer. The risk is about twice as high in people who have three to four alcoholic drinks per day compared to those who don't drink alcohol, according to the National Cancer Institute.
- Sun exposure. Ever think to apply sunscreen to your lips? Repeated exposure to sunlight may increase the risk of lip cancer, which most often occurs on the lower lip.
- Regular dentist visits and self-examinations. The dentist is the first line of defense so it's important to meet with them regularly and ask for an oral cancer screening. In addition, be sure to take a few minutes each month for a self-exam to see if you can see or feel anything suspicious including lumps; bumps; tender areas; and any white, red or grey patches. If these symptoms are found, contact your dentist immediately.
- Brushing and flossing daily. Brushing two to three times a day and flossing one time a day is critical to remove bacteria. Flossing sometimes is easily forgotten, however, if you don't floss, you will miss cleaning 35 percent of your tooth surfaces.
Great Expressions Dental Centers Provides Prevention Tips For Oral Cancer Awareness Month
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