April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and dental professionals around the world are encouraging patients to receive an oral cancer examination as soon as possible….
Cancer of the mouth is the sixth most common type of cancer in the body most commonly caused by smoking and excessive alcohol. Statistically having the ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude towards this disease is not the way to approach oral cancer. The best way to rid yourself of the worry is with regular oral examinations from your local dentist. At Hyde Park Dental Care, located in the Sydney CBD, our team of dental professionals can provide you with a thorough cleaning and oral cancer examination during your general check-up appointment.
How can smoking cause oral cancer?
Have you seen this new add-on television lately? The advertisement, borrowed from the United States, shows the reality of the effects of smoking not only on oral health but overall health. Recently Australian stations have also been airing this advertisement because of its impact.
The reality is more than 80% of cancers of the mouth, nose and throat occur in people who smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Statistics show that a smoker is up to nine times as likely as a non-smoker to develop oral cancers.
It’s not just cigarettes and cigars that cause cancer; smokeless tobacco is just as bad…
Just because you don’t partake in the act of smoking doesn’t mean you are not causing harm to your teeth and mouth. Smokeless tobacco can also be damaging and has known to induce oral cancer. Leathery white patches and red sores are common in ‘dippers’ or ‘chewers’ and can turn into cancer. Most commonly smokeless tobacco leads to gum disease (periodontal disease) and increased tartar on the teeth, which harbours plaque. During your dental check-up at our Sydney CBD office, we will assess your teeth and gums for oral cancer and will clean your mouth thoroughly.
It’s not just tobacco products that cause oral cancer, it could be anything…
There is no one cause of oral cancer, just because you don’t smoke or drink doesn’t mean you are immune to the disease. A total of 2,052 Australians died from mouth and throat cancer in 2003 and there are over 4,000 new cases of these cancers each year. Oral cancer, or any cancer for that matter, can infect even the healthiest body. The key to preventing, treating and removing the cancer is early detection, which is why visiting your dentist is so important.
When detected at early stages of development, oral cancers can have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Unfortunately, those who wait until the later stages do not have the same success rate. In the late stages, there is a death rate of about 43% at five years from diagnosis. Late stage diagnosis is not a reflection of the difficulty to detect the cancers; it is because of a lack of public awareness and infrequent visits to dental professionals that can examine for the cancers. Globally, oral cancer is a growing problem, with new cases annually exceeding from 640,000. Don’t become a statistic, if you haven’t been for a check-up over the past 6 months, be proactive and visit for a cleaning and cancer assessment.
*Remember this month is all about oral cancer awareness, so share this article with a friend that you know needs to get their mouth cleaned and assessed.