Mouth is indicator of health in other parts of body, first line of contact with many substances
Today, the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) reminded patients of the importance of oral health, especially as a first line of detection and defense against cancer. As February is National Cancer Prevention Month, the CSDA encourages Connecticut residents to be proactive about being healthy by eating right, cutting down on unhealthy substance use, and visiting the dentist.
“Regular visits to the dentist are necessary to keep track of your oral health, and also provide an opportunity for your dentist to screen for indicators of cancer,” said Dr. Gary Linker, CSDA President. Your dentist will talk with you about your medical history to gather new information, and will then examine your mouth for oral cancer indicators. However, dentists also know the signs of other illnesses that can manifest in the mouth and will raise those issues with you.
“The mouth is often the first point of contact with substances – food, drink, substance use, etc.—and can be a good indicator of what’s going on in other parts of the body,” said Dr. Linker.
The best thing you can do to prevent oral cancer is to be aware of the risk factors. Smoking, drinking and eating a poor diet are contributors. Simply being a male makes you twice as likely to get oral cancer as you age.
“If you stay on top of your health by taking care of your body and checking in with your dentist – you’ll be on track to prevent oral cancer, and in the unfortunate event something does happen, to detect cancer or other illness that comes your way,” added Dr. Linker.