With the proper preventative measures, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting oral cancer. As with many other types of cancer, early detection can also significantly influence your chances for a swift and complete recovery. To reduce your risk of oral cancer, consider these easy and effective suggestions:
Protect Your Lips
Many people understand the benefit of putting on sunscreen when going outside. Fewer recognize the importance of applying an SPF lip balm. Like any other exposed body part, your lips are susceptible to sun damage and cancer. When outdoors, always put on protective lip balm with an SPF of at least 15. A wide-brimmed hat can also help protect your lips from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
The effects of cigar, cigarette, and pipe smoking on the mouth tissues are well documented. Individuals who smoke experience significantly higher rates of oral cancer than people who do not. If you currently smoke, make a commitment to stopping as soon as possible. Consult your dentist about local cessation programs if you find it difficult to stop on your own. Also, keep in mind that chewing tobacco and similar products can increase your chances of getting oral cancer, too.
Visit Your Dentist
Though you may make several lifestyle changes to decrease your risk of oral cancer, don’t forget to visit your dentist on a consistent basis for periodic oral cancer screenings. Your dentist can perform an examination to detect unusual symptoms, such as discolored tissues or growths that might indicate oral cancer. He can also administer a ViziLite screening to detect oral cancer with a special mouth rise and light device.
The Smile Design Center of Baltimore offers ViziLite technology for patients. This quick and pain-free diagnostic tool can identify potential oral cancer symptoms in just minutes. For more information on our oral cancer screening services, call (443) 275-9821.