During a thorough dental examination, our dedicated team, led by Dr. Brammeier, takes a proactive approach to your oral health, including screening for oral cancer. Early detection is paramount when it comes to oral cancer, as it greatly improves the chances of successful treatment. Rest assured, our highly trained dentist in Naperville, IL, is well-equipped to identify any potential signs of oral cancer during your visit.
Oral cancer is a disease that can affect anyone, but certain groups are at a higher risk than others. Allow us to shed light on the top seven risk factors associated with oral cancer:
Oral cancer risk tends to increase with age, particularly for individuals in their mid-40s and beyond. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America report that the majority of diagnoses occur around age 62. However, recent trends show a decline in the average age of diagnosis, primarily due to the rise in Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cases. This underscores the importance of regular oral cancer screenings, regardless of your age.
Men face a higher risk of developing oral cancer compared to women. This discrepancy may be partly attributed to higher rates of alcohol and tobacco consumption among men. However, it’s worth noting that the gender gap is narrowing, as more women today are using tobacco and alcohol. Additionally, there is an emerging trend of younger men being diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. Therefore, both men and women should prioritize routine oral health examinations to catch oral cancer early.
The use of tobacco in any form significantly elevates the risk of oral cancer. Smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to cancers of the mouth and throat, as well as those affecting the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips. The likelihood of developing these cancers depends on the duration and frequency of tobacco use. Even non-smokers are not immune, so it’s crucial to schedule an examination with our dental team in Naperville, IL, to assess your oral health.
Approximately 70% of individuals diagnosed with oral cancer are considered heavy drinkers, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heavy drinking is characterized by consuming an average of two or more alcoholic drinks per day for men and one or more drinks per day for women. Those who indulge in heavy drinking are more than twice as likely to develop oral cancer. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that oral cancer can still occur in individuals who abstain from alcohol altogether. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to schedule an examination.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, is responsible for a significant number of oral cancer cases in the United States, totaling around 10,000 annually. Those with HPV-related oral cancers are typically younger individuals who do not smoke or drink. Fortunately, this subgroup generally has a lower risk of death or recurrence. We strongly recommend maintaining regular visits to our dental office as a proactive approach to oral health.
Prolonged exposure to sunlight, especially for those who work outdoors, increases the risk of lip cancer. It is essential to use UV protection, such as lip balms with SPF when exposed to the sun for extended periods. If you are regularly outdoors, consider scheduling an additional examination with our team to monitor your oral health.
Poor nutrition is linked to a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Studies reported by the American Dental Association suggest a connection between diets low in fruits and vegetables and an increased risk of oral cancer. However, it’s crucial to understand that oral cancer can develop in individuals with a healthy diet. Regardless of your dietary habits, we encourage you to schedule a comprehensive oral examination with our team.
Oral cancer does not discriminate based on age, gender, or other factors. These seven risk factors emphasize the importance of regular oral examinations for everyone. Our dedicated dental team is committed to early detection, ensuring the best possible outcomes. Contact our Naperville, IL, dental office today to schedule a comprehensive oral examination with Dr. Brammeier and his expert team. Your oral health is our top priority.