Quitting smoking is not a joke. If you are a regular smoker, you can understand the struggle quite well as it can be incredibly hard to kick the habit. While there are many dangers of smoking, one of the critical reasons to quit smoking is oral cancer. Oral cancer includes cancer of the mouth, tongue, lips, throat, and salivary glands. And smoking not only causes bad breath, but it also increases the odds of developing oral cancer, and we guess no one wants to live with those odds.
Signs and symptoms
In the early stages, identifying this form of cancer can be tough since it appears as a simple toothache. However, in some cases, it can be painless and go undetected. And by the time it is diagnosed, chances are that it has already reached the advanced stage. Therefore, it is important to examine your mouth periodically for any signs. If identified early, it can be treated and save your life.
Persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away is often a sign of oral cancer, regardless of whether you smoke. Of course, if you are a smoker then you need to be more cautious. Other early signs include red, white or dark patches inside the mouth, lumps, difficulty in swallowing, chewing, or moving the jaw, feeling something constricted in the throat like something is stuck inside, mouth numbness, thickening of the cheeks, or changes in one’s voice.
As you know, prevention is always better than cure. So, here are some ways you can prevent this deadly form of cancer -
Quit tobacco: Using tobacco in cigarettes or any other form is a high-risk factor in all types of oral cancer. The best way to prevent oral cancer is to reduce tobacco consumption or stop smoking altogether.
Visit the dentist: Another way to reduce the risk of oral cancer is to visit the dentist regularly. Regular dental appointments will help you look out for the possible signs and symptoms and check-up on the health of your gums and teeth. A dentist will be able to guide you better, especially if you smoke.
Follow a complete oral care routine : Maintaining good oral hygiene will not only prevent gum and teeth diseases but also reduce the risk of oral cancer. Brush your teeth twice daily - once in the morning after you wake up, and once before going to bed at night. Follow it up with a dental-approved mouthwash to kill the bacteria in your mouth and prevent bad breath, especially if you are a smoker. Floss well afterwards, do not skip this step even if you are tempted to. Use plain, waxed floss strips that easily slide between the teeth to remove any tiny leftover food particles or plaque.
Oral cancer must be taken seriously. There are ways to prevent this deadly disease and following these tips can help reduce its risk. Try and quit smoking if you can, as that will go a long way in giving you a healthy life. Also, make sure you take out time for regular dental appointments to keep a check on your overall oral health. Additionally, use advanced dental-care products such as the Oral-B electric toothbrushes that will help protect the teeth and gums from various oral diseases.
Read other good oral and dental hygiene tips on Oral-B India.