Top 3 Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
The risk factors for oral cancer increases as we age due to genetics, lifestyle choices, and a variety of other reasons. However, this doesn’t mean individuals who are young should take their teeth for granted. It’s easy to fall out of hygiene routine when our lives are constantly changing, but it’s important to be aware of the risks so you can prevent yourself and others from more serious health conditions.
Whether it’s cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, all tobacco products can increase your risk for oral cancer. Using these types of tobacco products usually results in oral cancer affecting the lips since that’s where the contact with tobacco is. However, tobacco use can also cause cancer to the surrounding areas such as the larynx, lungs, esophagus, and other organs.
Smokeless tobacco products such as chew, dip, spit, and snuff are associated more with cancer of the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips. The longer you smoke, the higher your risk for cancer is. Smokers are 10 times more likely to develop oral cancer in comparison to non-smokers.
According to the American Cancer Society, 7 out of 10 patients who have oral cancer are heavy drinkers. Similar to smoking, the more you drink, the higher your risk is for oral cancer. For those who are both heavy smokers and drinkers, the risk for oral cancer may be up to 100 times higher than those who don’t drink or smoke. Using both alcohol and tobacco increases your risk more than using either one by itself.
3. ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
Tanning beds and at-home laser therapies expose your skin to ultraviolet radiation. In other cases, it can come from usually from sunlight itself. Unfortunately, it’s known to be linked with oral cancer in the lips and skin. Lip cancers are most common for people who work outside frequently and are in the sun for hours. This prolonged exposure to sunlight will increase your risk of lip cancer. The good news; oral cancer from UV exposure is declining and will most likely due to the increased awareness of the damaging effects it has on our skin and lips without the proper protection.
Call our staff at (770) 467-3888 for more information on oral cancer and our dental services in Austell!