Oral Cancer Screenings improve Oral Health – John T. Bowman, DMD - Boca Raton Oral Surgeon
Cancer is frightening, but treatment can be more effective with early detection. Oral cancer often goes undiagnosed before serious symptoms develop. However, an oral surgeon is especially skilled in the detection or oral cancer, and can provide treatment through a range of procedures. Our Boca Raton oral and maxillofacial practice
is dedicated to minimizing the risk of oral cancer for all patients.
Am I at Risk?
Risk factors are different for everyone, including genetics and certain behaviors. Although individuals cannot control their genetics, they can limit the diet and lifestyle choices which increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Consumption of alcohol and use of tobacco products are two well-studied behaviors that have been proven to contribute to oral cancer development.
Both chewing tobacco and cigarettes contribute to oral cancer development. These products release carcinogens and chemicals which have detrimental effects on the tissues they come in contact with. In fact, the University of San Francisco conducted a study which found 80 percent of oral cancer patients were smokers.
Excessive alcohol consumption, defined as more than 21 drinks per week, has been found to contribute to abnormal tissue development in the dentition. Alcohol dehydrates gums and supporting structures, decreasing our bodies’ ability to repair tissue and protect against infection. Alcohol consumption and tobacco use combined can significantly multiply the risk of oral cancer, up to 15 times the normal level. Reducing or eliminating these habits can help protect teeth and soft tissue from infection and permanent damage.
Although these are major risk factors, another influencer of oral cancer in the throat is HPV, where chronic infection can lead to cancer development. It is also important to understand that anyone can still get oral cancer, even when risks are reduced. Smoking, drinking, and HPV receive a larger focus because they involve preventable behaviors, but they are not the sole cause of disease.
Routine Exams can Catch Oral Cancer
Individuals should receive oral cancer exams as often as they visit their dentist. Bi-annual examination from an experienced oral surgeon improves the chances oral cancer can be discovered. With specialized tools, such as laser technology, Dr. John T. Bowman can diagnose oral cancer and provide treatment. Patients experiencing symptoms including chronic facial pain, cysts, and abnormal tissue development should visit their nearest oral surgeon immediately. With a thorough examination, abnormal tissues can be discovered and dealt with appropriately.
Contact John T. Bowman, DMD, for Oral Cancer Screenings
Patients in Boca Raton can benefit from oral cancer screenings to protect their long term oral health at our office. Call us today to schedule an appointment.