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What Is Your Risk for Oral Cancer? Jefferson, GA
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You may think that people who smoke or drink excessively are the only people at risk for oral cancers. However, even though these factors are common for developing these types of cancer, at least 25% of people diagnosed with oral cancer have never smoked, and they do not indulge heavily in alcoholic beverages. These were the findings of studies at Columbia University Medical Center.

You have control over some factors, such as smoking or heavy drinking, and there are others that you have no control over. For example, oral and oropharyngeal cancers can result from certain foods you eat, sexual activity, exposure to the sun and other factors. These cancers can affect your tongue, salivary glands, gums, lips, and soft palate.

Cancer symptoms can manifest as difficulty swallowing, changes in the way you speak or a cold that does not go away. Other symptoms include a lump in the neck or soft tissue or a sore throat that does not seem to heal. Early diagnosis and treatment are important and knowing your risks can help you prevent this problem. For example, regular dental checkups with an oral cancer screening can help recognize early signs of cancer. In addition, any lumps, swellings or sores in the mouth could be a sign of oral cancer.

Risk Factors

Excessive exposure to the sun elevates your risk for skin cancer. It also elevates your risk for oral cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, lip cancer is often associated with too much sun. If you are a person who enjoys basking in the sun or your job requires you to work outside all day, you need to take precautions against sunburn. Lip cancer usually occurs on the lower lip and is more common in men than women. When you put on sunscreen, be sure to include your lips. Wear a hat or visor to protect your face and keep the sun’s rays away from your lips. Your dentist or physician should check out any changes in the skin on your lips or bleeding.

Fruits and veggies are on the front lines when it comes to fighting cancers of all types, including oral cancers. The National Cancer Institute has found that deficiencies in vitamins C and E are linked to increased oral cancer risk. Conversely, eating foods with high counts of these important vitamins lowers your risk.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact during sexual contact. There are more than 150 forms of this virus, with the strains that cause genital warts considered as low-risk variants. HPV 16 and 18, however, are high-risk forms that can cause cervical, vaginal and penile cancer and oropharyngeal cancer too. Surprisingly, the American Dental Association has discovered that out of all oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed, 63% are caused by HPV. The good news is there are vaccinations for HPV.

Your oral health is important, and at Jefferson Dental Care, we are committed to helping you maintain it at the highest level. So, call today and schedule an appointment for a full dental checkup, including an oral cancer screening.

Posted on behalf of Jefferson Dental Care

Our Patient Reviews

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Kayla B.

The whole office staff is amazing! Super friendly and helpful. Dr. Gannon has always been very nice and does great work! My husband sees Dr. Vetter and has only good things to say as well. I highly recommend this office!

Karen W.

We have had great experiences with Dr Gannon and Dr Vetter and their entire staff. They make you feel at ease and therefore we don't dread going to the dentist anymore

Barbara S.

This office is wonderful, Dr. Gannon is amazing super nice and the staff are so sweet. Thank you all for a great experience

Mindi C.

I live and work in Habersham but I have used this group for 15 years. I will drive the distance to see them because they are the best !! See you in 12/15/14 Dr Vetter.

Malcolm W.

Great folks!!! All the folks there are special ... Gotta love that Doctor Vetter!!!

Lee L.

What a GREAT experience!!! Dr Vetter is AWESOME!!

Wanda B.

Dr. Paul gannon is the best...

Caroline W.

Very friendly staff, professional and knowledgeable.

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Contact Us

1689 Old Pendergrass Road Suite 310
Jefferson GA, 30549

Tel: (706) 367-0010

Opening Hours

Monday - Thursday: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Our office is open for normal business hours and we are following all ADA/CDC guidelines to ensure staff and patient safety.