The rising numbers of patients we see every year that are diagnosed with oral cancer is staggering, which is why Shepherd Mall Family Dentistry, the best choice in family dentistry Oklahoma City has to offer, wants everyone to be aware about the factors which play a key role for prevention and treatment.
In the past several decades, the use of substances like tobacco and alcohol have been the two most common factors when diagnosing patients, but times have changed. The American Cancer Society estimates that 50,000 cases of oral cancer are reported every year, with men being at the top of the risk factor list, even with the decrease of smoking and tobacco use.
So now that the rate of tobacco use and smoking has actually decreased substantially, why is oral cancer still on the rise, and how can our patients prevent it from happening to them?
The answer may be surprising… the Human Papillomavirus, most commonly known as HPV.
How Do People Get it?
HPV is not easy subject to talk about, since it is a lesser known form of a sexually transmitted disease. People most commonly think of it only happening to kids or teens after they are exposed to it since most who contract the virus rarely get immediately sick or see symptoms arise. But the truth is that HPV is becoming one of the most common sources for oral and esophageal cancer.
Early diagnosis of oral cancer is always the best way to more efficiently treat and prevent it from returning, so that is why regular visits to an oral health care professional is the best way to screen for it.
Without regular check ups and screenings to detect and prevent oral cancer, finding and treating it becomes significantly more challenging. Most of the time cancer is found when it spreads to other areas of the body, becoming present in the bodies lymph nodes felt on the neck.
The ADA is on the Case
The American Dental Association is at the forefront helping dentists and orthodontists with identifying and testing for oral cancer caused by HPV. Extensive studies and research continues to be done, while the ADA gives oral health care professionals the right tools and equipment to fight the good fight against cancer and other diseases.
How Can My Dentist Help?
Our dentists in uptown OKC at Shepherd Mall Family Dentistry can help you to prevent oral cancer with the latest in oral health care and screening technology. We will help you fight disease and decay of the teeth and mouth with comprehensive check-ups, exams and x-rays. Our testing methods for the overall health of our patients is done through digital technology, making problems much easier and more efficiently detectable before they become big problems.
The ADA also strongly recommends that our patients keep us up to date on their medical history, and any changes with their health. This means we will stay up-to-date with our patients current medications, diet, social interaction, recreational drug use, and any other lifestyle factors which could greatly affect their oral health care.
Cancer can be a scary topic, but if our patients stay informed and visit our office for regular check-ups and screenings, we will have the best chance possible to help prevent oral cancer and offer the best treatment to fight it.