If you are a smoker, there is some important information about oral cancer that you should be aware of. Using tobacco products increases a person’s risk of oral cancer. Luckily, there are tools your dentist can use to detect this disease so you can treat it early. Below, we will go over the other risk factors of oral cancer as well as the screening tests that your dentist can use to monitor your health.

Know Your Oral Cancer Risk

Smoking isn’t the only factor that can influence your chances of developing oral cancer. Other lifestyle factors like poor nutrition, heavy alcohol usage, and frequent exposure to UV light can also increase your risk of oral cancer. Other risk factors include age, gender, and family history. Men are more likely than women to develop oral cancer, and most patients are diagnosed in their 50s or later.

Oral Cancer Screening Options

If you are at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to your doctor. They will be able to perform various tests to check for abnormalities of the gums, teeth, jaw, and throat. Common tests include a manual exam where the dentist uses gloved hands to examine the mouth, as well as tests using special lights that can detect irregular cells.

The Importance of Regular Dental Exams

Regular dental exams are important for all patients who are at risk for oral cancer. Your dentist will be able to monitor your mouth over time to detect subtle changes. This is crucial for early diagnosis. To schedule an oral cancer screening today, call Pearl Shine Dental at 281-477-7200.