Oral Cancer Screenings Vital for Smokers
Oral cancers are among the most preventable of all cancers, and among all preventions for oral cancer, avoiding any form of tobacco is the most important. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, and the majority of people with oral cancer use some form of tobacco. The American Cancer Society states that smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers, and the risk increases with the amount of tobacco used and the length of the habit. Smoking causes many oral problems, such as
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Increased plaque and tartar on teeth
- Loss of bone within the jaw
- Risk of gum disease
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
- Delayed healing following dental surgeries and extractions
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings
- Oral cancer
And it’s not only cigarette smoking that is problematic. Chewing tobacco or snuff increases the risk of cancer to the gums, lips and cheek. Pipe smoking is more likely to develop cancer of the lip and soft palate. And both cause bad breath, stained teeth and a higher risk of gum disease. Even smokeless tobacco isn’t without risk. Smokeless tobacco contains over 25 chemicals that have proven to increase the risk of cancer in the mouth, throat and esophagus. Committing to a completely smoke and tobacco-free life is the single best way to reduce your risk of oral cancer.
Oral or pharyngeal cancer kills about one American per hour, per day, and this number has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate associated with this cancer isn’t because it’s difficult to discover, but because most oral cancers are found in the late stages. Montee and Montee Dental is dedicated to increasing the chances of survival for those at high risk for oral cancers by providing oral cancer screenings in Green Hills, Tennessee.
One of the dangers of oral cancers is that, in its early stages, few changes or symptoms may be noticed, increasing the likelihood of it not being found until later stages. Smokers and others with a high risk of cancer should have an oral cancer screening every six months to look for signs of cancer that may have gone unnoticed, and for a greater chance of early detection. If you smoke, quit, and contact Montee and Montee Dental for your oral cancer screening today.