Oral cancer claims thousands of lives in America each year. That’s why it’s imperative that people can distinguish the myths from the facts – so you can live a safer, healthier life! Discover three oral cancer myths that you shouldn’t believe:
Myth #1: Only older people get oral cancer.
While age is a contributing factor for oral cancer, it does not only affect older people. Young people can be diagnosed with oral cancer, as well, if they are not taking care of their oral health. The number of people affected with oral cancer is rising, making regular oral exams even more important.
Oral exams should be done both at home and at a professional dental office. At home, check the status of your palate, gums, lips, and mouth. However, there are certain areas deeper within the mouth that it will be hard for you to check. This is where a dentist or oral surgeon can help!
Myth #2: Oral cancer screenings are only done if you’re considered high risk.
You do not have to be considered high risk to be screened for oral cancer. During your dental exam, your dentist or oral surgeon will check for any abnormalities within your mouth such as a sore that won’t heal, red or white patches, or a lump. Early detection is key!
Myth #3: Oral cancer cannot be prevented.
Oral cancer can be linked to unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, and too much exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. We highly recommend discontinuing the use of tobacco or nicotine products, replacing alcohol with healthier drink choices (water!), and always wearing sunscreen and lip balm with a high SPF.
Oral Pathology at Athens Oral Surgery Center
Dr. Tomlinson has extensive knowledge about oral pathology – soft tissue pathology and hard tissue pathology. If you notice any signs of oral cancer, give us a call: 706-549-5033.