It is not uncommon for Canadians to forgo routine dental checkups, and while that is never a good idea, here is one more sobering fact that might surprise you. Every year, nearly 5,000 Canadians are diagnosed with oral cancer, and more than 1,200 succumb to the disease. The key to surviving this type of cancer is early detection, so having an annual oral cancer screening as part of your dental checkup could save your life.
If you want to do everything you can to avoid oral cancer, besides having an annual oral cancer screening, you should abstain from or minimize tobacco and alcohol use. It is even worse to use both substances. Another item that should be avoided is betel quid. This is something most common to South Asian immigrants, which involves wrapping areca nut and lime in a betel leaf and chewing it. It is the areca nut itself that contains cancer-causing constituents. One more risk factor is the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus, which can infect the mouth through sexual contact and lead to oral cancer. This is the usual cause for those who do not use tobacco (smoked or chewed) or drink alcoholic beverages.
At Amberwood Dental Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, we do not just care for your teeth; we care for your overall health as it can be affected by your oral health. To that end, an annual checkup does include an oral cancer screening. Especially if you are high risk, please do not put this off. Call us today to schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening and any of our other dental services.