Tobacco abuse is the single highest risk factor in the development of oral cancer with heavy alcohol consumption right behind it. Thankfully, smoking rates are decreasing in the United States, but your Dublin dentist wants you to know that there are more risk factors to consider. When you and your dentist are working together to diligently prevent oral cancer, you need to consider your tobacco and alcohol consumption, genetic makeup, immune system function, diet, inflammatory processes, and a variety of other factors. One of the best ways to actively stay two steps ahead of this dangerous disease is to get oral cancer screenings with your dentist during your regular appointments.
Just a few years ago, the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) released their best recommendations for preventing oral cancer. Patients that proved to live a lifestyle that followed the guidelines that the WCRF/AICR suggested reduced their chances of developing oral cancer by 70%! Your family dentist recommends that all his patients take note of their suggestions and try to apply them to their lives as well.
Dr. Buck and Dr. Burton recommend that adults should limit their alcohol intake to two light alcoholic beverages a day for men and one for women.
We recommend that patients be at least moderately active. This means that if you briskly walk for at least 30 minutes a day you can reduce your risk of developing oral cancer and other health risks. As your stamina improves, aim for at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.
You should try to maintain a body weight that is within the average range. Avoiding weight gain and keeping your body mass index from 21-23 will keep you healthy for years to come.
Foods and Drinks That Promote Weight Gain
Patients should steer clear of energy-dense foods and drinks. These energy drinks are high in sugar and bad for your teeth the begin with. Try to eliminate fast food altogether.
We recommend that patients consume less than 18 ounces of red meat a week. Eliminating processed meats is a great way to prevent oral cancer as well as other serious health problems.
Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
While you’re avoiding the above foods and drinks, try to consume at least 5 servings (14 ounces) of fruits and vegetables a day. Try to eliminate starchy vegetables and consume unprocessed grains for the best health results.
Visiting Your Dentist is the Best Way to Prevent Oral Cancer
Many signs and symptoms of oral cancer go unnoticed until it’s late stages. If caught early, the survival rate for the disease is upwards to 80 or 90%! But, the death rate of oral cancer seems to stay steady at taking one life per hour in the United States.
You can reduce your chances of being diagnosed with oral cancer significantly by following our advice, but the best way to stay on top of your oral health is to visit your dentist. Our dental professionals have trained, professional eyes for early signs of cancer as well as Oral ID for advanced, early detection with fluorescent technology. If you haven’t had a cancer screening in a while, call our office. We would be happy to schedule you an appointment.