When considering the worst case scenarios for neglecting your oral health, most people will jump to gingivitis or tooth rot as their biggest fears. However, as with most other areas of health, the biggest fear should be cancer. In 2020, the American Cancer Society predicts that over 53,000 Americans will contract a form of mouth cancer, with roughly 20% of these cases being fatal. So with this in mind, how can you use your oral health rituals to protect yourself against oral cancers? Let’s take a look.

What Causes Mouth Cancer

Some of the most common locations for mouth cancer to occur include:

  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • Inner lining of the cheeks
  • Roof of the mouth

Now that we know where it happens, it’s time to examine some of the leading risk factors that drive the development of mouth cancer. These include:

  • Any type of tobacco use
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Excessive sun exposure to your lips
  • Having HPV
  • Immune system weakness

This mix of health and lifestyle factors will increase your chances of contracting oral cancer, so now let’s move on to how you can detect the development of cancer in your mouth.

How To Detect Mouth Cancer

Since your mouth is one of the most active parts of your body, noticing the developing symptoms of mouth cancer can be simple, if you know what you’re looking for. Some of the symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip, or throat
  • A white or red patch in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
  • Swelling in your jaw
  • Numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth
  • Pain in one ear without hearing loss

If you’re suffering from one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to get immediate help from a holistic dental professional like the team at Plancich Dental.

How Can Holistic Dentistry Help With Mouth Cancer

The primary difference between traditional and holistic dentistry is the emphasis that holistic dentistry puts on your overall health in connection to your oral health. Here at Plancich Dental, we believe that the only way to truly ensure a healthy mouth is to focus on your entire body. From the consumption choices you make, to your dental habits, to even diet and exercise, we can help you put oral health at the center of a healthy life. If you or someone you know is worried about the possibility of oral cancer, or just want to come in for a regular cleaning, give Plancich Dental a call today. We are one of the premier holistic dentist practices in the South Sound area!