Your oral health is important to your overall well-being, and goes beyond routine brushing and flossing. In addition to practicing good at-home oral care, you should visit your Tucson dentist on a regular basis for a thorough evaluation of your oral health. Tooth decay and gum disease are just a few of the things your dentist will look for, along with the signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a very serious disease, and your dentist may be able to spot the early warning signs. Keep reading to learn what can cause oral cancer so you can take better care of your oral health.

Tobacco

Tobacco use is dangerous for your heart, lungs, and mouth. Smoking or using smokeless tobacco both greatly increase your risk for oral cancer. In fact, smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer, and smokeless tobacco users are 50 times more likely to develop cancers on the cheek, gums, and lips. If you are still smoking or using smokeless tobacco, now is the time to quit. If you are a casual tobacco user, end your habit before it becomes an addiction and you put your healty in jeopardy.

Alcohol

Alcohol is often a part of an adult lifestyle and should be used responsibly and in moderation. However, heavy alcohol use has been linked to oral cancer. Heavy drinkers are roughly six times more likely to get oral cancer than those who abstain from alcohol. Additionally, the combination of alcohol and tobacco use puts you at an even greater risk than simply smoking or drinking alone.

Sun Exposure

You probably know that the sun’s UV rays can be harmful to your health, leading to wrinkles as well as the possibility of skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure also increases your risk of oral cancer, as your lips are susceptible to sun damage. Talk with your dentist about any changes you’ve noticed around your mouth during your appointment.

Don’t take chances with your oral health. Make an appointment with Robert C. Brei, DDS by calling (520) 325-9000 and have your health evaluated. Our Tucson dental office is comfortable and committed to serving the dental needs of you and your family.