In recent years, key studies have identified a link between gum disease and the risk of developing cancer. This highlights the connection between oral health and overall health.
Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, includes all cancers that occur on the lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of mouth, the palate and the throat.
Oral cancer is one of the most common of all cancers. Anyone can get oral cancer, but the risks are greater if you are male, over 40 years old, and use tobacco and alcohol. Sun exposure is a risk for lip cancer – just as it is for skin cancer.
There a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer:
- Visit your dentist at least once a year, so that he or she can check your face, neck, lips, and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer. This applies to everyone, even if you have complete dentures and no natural teeth. Early diagnosis increases the chances of successful treatment outcomes.
- Do not smoke or use any tobacco products
- Drink alcohol only in moderation
- Eat a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients
- Limit exposure to the sun
Find out more about the Gum Link.