THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY estimates that over 53,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer in 2020. The death rate of these types of cancer has been decreasing over the last three decades, and we want to help continue that trend by educating our patients on the symptoms and risk factors.
Several risk factors increase a person’s chances of developing oral cancer, and some of them can’t be helped. For instance, men are twice as vulnerable to oral cancer as women, and people over 45 are also at much greater risk.
Of all the risk factors, the greatest by far is tobacco use. As much as 85% of oral cancer cases are linked to tobacco use. Another risk factor that can be avoided is frequent, heavy alcohol consumption. Apart from these, too much sun exposure can lead to lip cancer. Neglecting oral hygiene can increase your chances of developing it (particularly when combined with tobacco use). A growing number of cases are linked with HPV infection.
Not everyone with the risk factors will get oral cancer, and some people with none of the risk factors could still develop it. This is why it’s so important to recognize the symptoms when they appear. These include:
The earlier oral cancer is caught and treated, the better the survival rate is. Those who have one or more risk factors should consider getting regular health screenings, which can detect oral cancer before any of the above symptoms appear.
One place where oral cancer is often caught early is at regular dental exams! That’s right; dentists don’t just check teeth for cavities and gums for gum disease. Add that to the list of reasons not to skip a regular dental appointment! If you’re up to date on your dental exams but are looking for ways you can get involved in raising awareness of oral cancer, just let us know!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
With over 25 years of dedicated experience in dentistry, Dr. Matt Gaebelein is the CEO, leader, and
distinguished clinician at Strongsville Smile Keepers. A graduate of The Ohio State University
of Dentistry and a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio, Dr. Gaebelein's commitment to excellence
manifest in his passion for dentistry and unwavering dedication to providing top-tier dental care.
As a Senior Master Provider in Fastbraces Orthodontic Technology, Dr. Gaebelein has transformed the smiles of countless children and adults, earning him the prestigious Teledyne Hanau Award for his excellence in prosthodontics. Dr. Gaebelein's commitment to ongoing education is showcased through his fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry, a distinction achieved by only 6% of dentists in the US and Canada.
His warm, friendly demeanor and extensive experience create a welcoming environment at Strongsville Smile Keepers. You can rest assured that Dr. Gaebelein and his team will provide exceptional dental care, treating you like family and prioritizing your oral health needs.