Your mouth is the portal to your body – what goes in has an impact on the health of your mouth as well as your body. Good oral hygiene, healthy eating habits and regular visits to your dentist are the ingredients for maintaining your health.
However, you may still have some habits that can put you at risk for oral cancer, a disease that is affecting an increasing number of adults. Detecting oral cancer early is key to successfully treating the disease and restoring your health and visiting your dentist regularly is the best way to detect the disease.
Signs that you may have oral cancer include the following:
• White or red patches in your mouth or on your lips or tongue.
• Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of the mouth tissues.
• Bleeding or numbness in your mouth.
• Sores or patches that do not heal.
• Difficulty swallowing and changes in taste or tongue sensation.
Preventive dentistry can be effective in identifying the symptoms of oral cancer. When you see your dentist on a regular basis, there is a baseline for what is normal so, on subsequent visits, your dentist will recognize any changes. If there are any symptoms of oral cancer, your dentist can recommend that you see your doctor for an evaluation.
While the actual cause of oral cancer is unknown, there are risk factors, including smoking, chewing tobacco, heavy alcohol consumption, repeated prolonged exposure of your lips to the sun, poor diet and a history of leukoplakia – a thick, whitish-colour patch inside the mouth. Steps you can take to prevent oral cancer include quitting the use of tobacco products, limiting alcohol consumption, limiting your exposure to the sun and eating a healthy diet that includes fruit and vegetables.
At Dentistry at Clarkson Village Shoppes, 800 Southdown Rd., Unit A3, in Mississauga the dental professionals will work with you to develop an oral hygiene routine that will ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. To arrange an appointment, call 905-822-8880 or email their office at firstname.lastname@example.org.