How is poor oral hygiene increasing the risk of oral cancer?

oral cancer
oral cancer

Many of us brush our teeth twice a day and floss daily. But when was the last time you went for an oral checkup? Lately, with busier than ever schedules and that demanding job, oral care is not getting the due love it deserves. Recent reports relate health issues to poor oral hygiene, which concerns most people that health risks have increased because dental care is being neglected. Research has proven this statement to be true! Poor oral hygiene can even give way to several major diseases, including life-threatening ones like oral cancer.

  • What is oral cancer?

Cancer that develops in tissues of the oral cavity (the mouth) or in your throat (mainly the portion located at the back of the mouth) is called oral cancer. 

Cells in living beings grow, multiply and then die. When some cells in the mouth begin to behave abnormally, they grow and spread. These abnormal cells, causing further damage to the surrounding areas of the mouth, attack other healthy cells. Cancer cells are abnormal cells that do not follow this pattern; these cells do not do what they are supposed to do. 

The mouth is scientifically called the oral cavity and encompasses both the outside as well as insides of the lips, insides of the cheeks, gums, teeth, the part of the tongue that is in the center of the mouth, the roof of the mouth, and the bottom of the mouth. 

Oral cancer of the mouth is generally divide into three basic categories: Cancer in the lips, cancer inside the mouth, and cancer of the tongue.

When cancer cells attack the back of the mouth, specifically the throat (scientifically called the oropharynx), it is call throat cancer, medically termed oropharyngeal cancer. Throat cancer generally develops in the back of the tongue, the tonsils, the back of the mouth’s roof, and the upper throat area.

  • Symptoms and risk factors 

Symptoms of most diseases of the mouth, lips, and throat and those of oral cancer are often very similar. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include a persistent sore throat that does not heal with time or a lump that does not go away. Other signs and symptoms of cancer in the mouth are explain chronic pain in the jaw, and teeth, loose teeth, red or white patches in the mouth or throat, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or chronic bad breath.

Although there’s no specific known cause behind oral cancer, several risk factors, like tobacco products like cigarettes or chewable tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, genetic history of cancer, or the HPV virus, all elevate risks for oral cancer.

Areca nut has been proven to cause poor oral health, precancerous conditions, and periodontal disease, further deteriorating the oral cavity’s health. Excessive usage of Areca nut, alcohol, and tobacco may result in poor oral health. These habits are independent etiological factors for oral cancer. They also contribute to poor hygiene, further elevating the risks of developing oral cancer. 

A case study in Germany has shown chronic alcoholism as a causative factor for neglected oral hygiene, leading to poor oral health. Tobacco use also impacts oral health, represented by indicators like dental caries, tooth loss, and periodontal diseases. Cancer of the lips is also associate with excessive exposure to the sun.

  • How is poor oral hygiene tied to cancer?

Poor oral hygiene is fiercely link to oral cancers. It increases the carcinogenic potential of other carcinogens, like alcohol and tobacco. Even on adjusting the known risk factors like alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and awareness, poor oral hygiene still exhibits the highest odds of getting oral cancer.

A recent case study performed in various parts of the world has proved this. The study shows that the group with the highest risk of developing comprises individuals who chew tobacco. And have poor oral hygiene. 

Factors that contribute to inadequate oral hygiene are infrequent brushing habits, irregular dental visits, lower education level. And thus the need for awareness about the importance of dental health, alcohol consumption, and tobacco usage.

The case study, in its conclusion, stated that having a routine around dental hygiene significantly reduces the risk of developing oral cancer. The outline of the routine is brushing using toothpaste and toothbrush twice a day, regular checkups at the dentists. And having few or, at best, no missing teeth.

The study also inferences that other risks related to contracting oral cancer were using tobacco products, alcohol consumption. And a poor diet in combination with poor hygiene. It recommends that in addition to maintaining good health habits, not chewing tobacco, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption. And eating a healthy balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits. And vegetables are the best ways to minimize the chances of developing oral cancer. Unless you bring changes in your lifestyle, how do you expect to keep oral cancer at bay?

  • Dental checkups to prevent oral cancer

Oral cavity cancer may significantly damage the teeth, gums, lips, tongue, and throat area. If not treated on time, cancerous cells also tend to spread and wreak havoc in other body parts. 

Regular checkups by a well-trained dentist help keep oral cancer at bay. During a dental appointment, the trained staff at the dentistry will help you understand better how poor oral hygiene leads to oral cancer and what steps must be taken to begin. And maintain an efficient health routine. Look for a dentist near me in Woodbury

Timely action on your part can help adverse the effects of oral cancer. If the doctor recommends chemotherapy followed by an operation, make sure to ask all the necessary questions to the dentist. It is essential to clarify all your doubts right at the start. You can ask the dentist about the pre and post-treatment process. Most dentists will explain the entire process to you before the treatment begins. Many people have recovered from cancer and are leading healthy life. Book an appointment with the dentist today. 

Written by Emma will

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