Oral hygiene is an extremely important aspect of your overall health! Good oral hygiene practices include brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing your teeth at least once per day, and visiting your dentist for a check-up & cleaning every six months, among other things. Without good oral hygiene, conditions like severe tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer can occur. In this article, we’ll talk about the links between poor oral hygiene and oral cancer!
What Is Oral Cancer?
Like other forms of cancer, oral cancer is a disease that causes abnormal cells to grow, spread, and attack healthy cells. Oral cancer, or cancer of the mouth, can occur on the lips, inside the mouth, and on the tongue. When oral cancer occurs around the tonsils and on the back of the tongue or the roof of the mouth, it is known as Oropharyngeal cancer. Symptoms of oral cancer include unexplained bumps, sores, and red or white patches on the skin inside your mouth, as well as difficulty speaking, eating, or swallowing, frequent bleeding in the mouth, and mouth or ear pain. In order to catch & diagnose oral cancer as quickly as possible, you should be sure to get regular oral cancer screenings from your dentist at your regular biannual appointments!
Bad Oral Hygiene Can Lead To Oral Cancer
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, poor oral hygiene is associated with a much higher risk factor for oral cancer. Along with poor oral hygiene, chewing tobacco users were shown to have higher risks of developing oral cancer. In contrast, the study showed that those with good oral hygiene habits can significantly reduce their chances of developing oral cancer. Good oral hygiene habits include brushing your teeth several times a day with toothpaste, visiting your dentist for check-ups on a regular basis, staying away from chewing tobacco products, and eating a well-balanced diet!
Contact Gentle Dental Maine!
If you have any questions about oral hygiene or oral cancer screenings, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!