It’s Mouth Cancer Awareness Month
We are passionate about helping our patients enjoy long-lasting oral health. One way this can be accomplished is with regular, routine oral hygiene examinations. We recommend that our patients visit us every four to six months, depending on their oral health needs. During these appointments, aside from cleaning your teeth, we look for potential oral health problems, including mouth cancer or oral cancer. November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to promoting knowledge of this form of cancer. Mouth cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that can be detected anywhere in the mouth or oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, and gums.
There are certain precautions you can take to ensure that you do not increase your risk of developing mouth or oral cancer. We want our patients to be mindful and aware of the risks, as some may require a change to their lifestyle. Risk factors for mouth and oral cancer include:
Sunbathing and Tanning Beds
We know our patients are probably not spending their days at the beach in November and December, but we still encourage them to wear sunscreen on their face and lips every day. You might be surprised to learn that UV rays from direct sunlight can be harmful in the winter too. Even if you aren’t sitting outside at this time of year, you are still being exposed to UV rays during your daily activities like driving in your car and walking the dog.
The dangers of tanning beds have been on our radar for decades, so we ask our patients to actively avoid them. If you are looking to tan during the winter, or the summer for that matter, sunless tanning sprays and lotions are a much safer option.
Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
There is no doubt about the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco in terms of your overall health. Not only can cigarettes and other tobacco products be dangerous for users, but people who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at higher risk of developing mouth cancer.
If you think you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, please call our office, which is located in For Lee, NJ, to schedule your next appointment. It is important to make your oral health a priority. We want to be sure you are up to date on your cleanings and help take care of any treatments you have been putting off. We hope to see you soon.