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Oral cancers are very serious conditions that can affect your quality of life. Oral cancer screenings at your regular dental checkups are essential tools for early detection, which improves your odds for successful treatment.

There are several factors that can contribute to whether or not you develop oral cancer. While some of them are beyond your control, there are many lifestyle choices that you can make to help prevent or reduce the chances of developing oral cancer later in life.

According to the ADA, over 39,000 people contract oral cancer each year and roughly 20 percent of those cases are fatal. Males are twice as likely to develop oral cancer.

Even though the average age of detection is 62, factors like alcohol and tobacco use can contribute to oral cancer appearing earlier. HPV infection can also increase the chances of developing oral cancer.

Regular exposure to UV light can also increase the chances of developing lip cancer, so if you spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s a good idea to use a lip balm with sun protection.

A healthy diet rich with fruits and vegetables can also be a helpful tool. Fruits like grapefruit, strawberries and blueberries as well as vegetables like Brussels sprouts, winter squash and dark leafy greens have all been found to have nutrients that can help reduce the chances of developing oral cancer.

If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer or if you would like a screening, please call us at 804-737-4444 to schedule an appointment.