Lung cancer might be the only cancer that comes to mind while reading the warning sign on a tobacco product, but the scope of danger is much wider. One common ailment that is associated with the use of tobacco is oral cancer, though it is not the only possible outcome. Another common issue is periodontal disease. The dentists of Banyan Dental in Port St. Lucie want everyone to know how tobacco can affect their oral health.
How Tobacco Affects Your Dental Health
The team at Dr. Jade Thomas’s St. Lucie West dental office has seen tobacco-related oral ailments numerous times. Periodontal disease can become a problem for smokers because the tobacco seems to interfere with the mouth’s ability to heal. The chemicals in tobacco products stifle blood flow, which is the key to restoration and healing.
These are very hard issues to deal with because it increases the chance of periodontal disease and increases its potency. Gum disease can be treated, but tobacco makes that difficult. Keep in mind that untreated gum disease can lead to total tooth loss.
How Oral Cancer Occurs
Oral cancers occur because tobacco contains carcinogenic properties. These properties can eventually cause mutations in the DNA of some cells in the mouth of the smoker. These mutations will make new cells that do not die, which is how tumors begin to grow. The mutations will begin to spread throughout the body without early detection, making these mutations deadly as they continue to spread. No doubt that this outcome is a scary one, especially if it goes undetected.
How Dr. Thomas’s Office Can Help?
You should know that Dr. Jade Thomas and his team are always here for you, even during a time of distress. After seeing possible signs of cancer like ulcers that do not go away patients become scared, which is understandable. Our team has a few ways to find out if you have something to worry about. At any routine dental checkup your dentist will examin the condition of your teeth.
If a cancerous lesion is detected your dentist will most likely ask for additional screening. Early detection of oral cancer is always the best because removal of a cancerous lesion is easiest when they first form.
Potential Risk Factors
It is not known why, but studies indicate that instances of oral cancers have increased over the last several years.
Factors that could increase your risk of oral cancer include:
- Heavy alcohol use
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
- History of significant sun exposure, which increases the risk of lip cancer
Maintain Regular Checkups
The very best way to insure that you can avoid any instances of oral cancer is to maintain a healthy lifestle, brush and floss regularly and be sure to get in to see your dentist at least twice a year for checkups. Banyan Dental wants you to enjoy great dental health and is always here for you and your entiere family.