How Your Dentist In Arlington Can Save Your Life

April 1, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — smilesforlifeteam @ 12:36 am

Doctor holding a sign reading stop cancerDid you know that a routine oral exam can diagnose over 120 medical conditions, including oral cancer? In fact, most cancers of the mouth and throat are diagnosed during a regular dental visit. That’s why your dentist in Arlington offers screenings to help keep your smile – and your life – safe. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, safeguard your health with this info from James T. Gray Family Dentistry.

Is Oral Cancer Common?

About 40,000 to 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and this disease is more common in men than woman. Sadly, the survival rate at five years is only around 50% for people diagnosed. Because this condition is often caught during its later stages, it tends to be more fatal than other cancers that people are more aware of. But, catching this disease early with screening tests can help increase your odds of a long and happy life.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Dr. James Gray, your superior family dentist in Arlington, explains the common risk factors in developing oral cancer, which include:

  • Tobacco Use – Smoking, chewing, dipping, or using tobacco in any form is the biggest contributor to oral cancer. Cigar and pipe smokers are at the greatest risk for developing this serious disease.
  • Drinking Alcohol – There is a connection between oral cancer and drinking alcohol, especially if you smoke when you drink.
  • HPV Exposure – Coming in contact with the train of the virus called HPV16 greatly increases your risk for developing oral cancer.

What Are The Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?

Many symptoms can be subtle – like a chronic sore throat or hoarseness in your voice. Review the list of oral cancer symptoms here and if you’re exhibiting any of these signs, reach out to use right away.

What Can I Do To Prevent Oral Cancer?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to your smile and overall health, so follow these guidelines from Dr. Gray:

  • Get Screened – Most oral cancers are diagnosed during a regular dental visit, so be sure to see us every six months. Since early detection is key in helping patients survive oral cancer, get screened at least once a year. The screening only takes a short amount of time, but can save your life.
  • Stop Smoking – Quit using tobacco products in all its forms now. If you need help quitting, talk with our team or your doctor for solutions that will prevent cancers of the mouth, throat, lungs, and other serious medical conditions.
  • Consider Vaccinations – If you’re under the age of 26, talk with your doctor about getting vaccinated for HPV. This preventive measure can help both men and women avoid the damaging effects of HPV16.
  • Eat Healthy – Keeping your immune system strong with a healthy diet is important, so avoid sugar, enjoy leafy greens and dairy products that are loaded with calcium and other vital nutrients, and limit your alcohol intake.

Now that you’ve participated in Oral Cancer Awareness Month by learning more about this disease, schedule your appointment with James T. Gray Family Dentistry to get screened today.