Heavy Drinking and Oral Cancer

Heavy Drinking and Oral CancerOral cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States. It has long been understood that smoking, HPV, and age are risk factors for oral cancer. However, new studies point to the fact that heavy consumption of alcohol can also be a risk factor, especially when combined with other high-risk behaviors. Drinking alcohol, especially when combined with smoking, increases your risk of developing oral cancer substantially.

Our Los Angeles dentist can help you determine your risk for oral cancer and how to lower your risk through lifestyle changes and regular dental exams and treatment.

At periodic dental exams, your dentist is looking for several things. One of these is the presence of any unhealed sores or discolorations which may indicate the presence of oral cancer. Many oral cancers are first spotted during a regular dental examination. You should always be completely honest with the dentist about your smoking and drinking habits; this can help the dentist to make a decision as to whether to pursue treatment of a suspected oral cancer.

Routine dental cleaning will not prevent oral cancer. However, by having a cleaning and exam every six months, you are far less likely to have an undetected oral cancer, and have a much better chance of stopping the cancer with the use of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical removal of the cells.

Our cosmetic dentist in Los Angeles can give you a professional exam and discuss with you the risks of certain behaviors, such as drinking, in developing oral cancer. The earlier oral cancer is caught, the better the chances of successful treatment.

Source: Los Angeles Cosmetic Dentist
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