According to a publication on Oral Oncology conducted with the help of Glasgow University Dental School and the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology, it has been estimated that every year more than 640,000 people across the globe are diagnosed with oral cancer. Oral cancer can occur in several areas including the tongue, gums, floor of the mouth and even on the inside of our cheeks. Last year around 7,900 people died of oral cancer in the US.
Other than a poor oral hygiene, other major factors that contribute to the formation of oral cancer are the use of tobacco and alcohol because both of them have a carcinogenic effect, especially when used regularly. As it’s been said time and time again, smokers and drinkers always have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, and their effects get a big boost when combined.
Several studies on oral cancer have shown that growth of bacterial count in the oral cavity can contribute to the development of oral carcinogenic issues. The same goes with alcohol-containing mouthwashes, as it’s been said before, alcohol is possibly one of the main carcinogens around.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use mouthwashes at all. There are several brands producing alcohol-free mouthwashes on the market. They are not only safer, but can also be used multiple times throughout the day.
Types of Oral Cancer
Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most frequent types of oral cancer constituting about more than 90% of all oral cancer cases. This cancer usually arises from the part of the throat, behind the oral cavity (oropharynx).
Verrucous carcinoma is another type of oral cancer, affecting approximately 5-6% of all oral cancer cases. Although this type is generally less common, it can spread slowly and steadily on to the surrounding tissues.
The third type of oral cancer, which affects less than 1% of all oral cancer subjects, is known as the Minor Salivary Gland Cancer; this oral cancer is extremely painful and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
The most used methods for the diagnosis of oral cancer are biopsy of the affected tissues, esophargoscopy, gastroscopy, bronchoscopy, nasopharyngoscopy, x-rays and CT scan (computerized tomography). Oral cancer surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the most conventional kinds of treatment.
Oral Cancer around the World
In places like India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan chewing betel nuts and paan (a preparation that includes betel nut leaves, chewing tobacco and also betel nuts) is another cause for the development of oral cancer. Submucous fibrosis, erythroplakia (red patches) and leukoplakia (white patches) are some of the oral diseases that eventually lead to oral cancer for people who have the habit of chewing tobacco products.
To know more about oral cancer prevention and everything related to oral hygiene, visit Maple Avenue Family Dentistry or call (401) 237-4324 today!