The most common type of head and neck cancer is oral cancer which affects your lips, tongue, and mouth. Specific factors can lead to this condition, such as smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, HPV, etc.
Although gum diseases are not proven to be a cause of oral cancer, they can still be linked to this type of cancer.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a dental condition that starts with an inflammation of your gums due to an array of different reasons. A proper oral care routine can prevent dental problems which may cause gum inflammation. You should treat gum disease as soon as possible, or it will turn into a severe issue. Gum disease increases your risk for many health problems beside tooth loss.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of all adults have gum disease.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, is an umbrella term used in reference to several cancers in the region of the mouth, most commonly on the lips, tongue, and floor of the mouth. This condition can also start in the cheeks, gums, roof of the mouth, and salivary glands.
Signs of oral cancer are often detected by your dentist while examining your mouth.
The main risk factors for oral cancers are tobacco and alcohol consumption; other risk factors are HPV, EBV, family history, poor oral hygiene, and exposure to the sun.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The early symptoms of oral cancer are usually hard to diagnose. Based on the area oral cancer first develops, it can cause various warning signs.
A brief oral cancer screening is typically performed as a part of routine dental check-ups by dentists. They examine the entire mouth and lips, as well as your face and neck, for possible signs of oral cancer.
Some of the symptoms of oral cancer are:
- Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, and moving the jaw or tongue;
- Persistent mouth pain, sore throat, and bad breath;
- Numbness of the tongue;
- Loosening of the teeth;
- Pain in the teeth or jaw;
- Changes in the voice; and
- A lump in the neck.
What Is Oral Cancer of the Gum?
Gum cancer begins when gums cells grow out of control and form tumors. Tobacco products and excessive alcohol drinking can increase the chances of developing gum cancer. Gum cancers can be mistaken for gingivitis, developing with white, or dark patches on the gums, bleeding or cracking gums, and thick areas on the gums.
When diagnosed, gum cancers can be treated to preserve the appearance and function of your mouth. You can prevent gum cancer from coming back with proper treatments.
You will have your personalized treatment plan depending on the extent, area, and strength of cancer. To beat upper gum cancer, maxillectomy is usually performed, which is a surgical method to remove cancer from the roof of the mouth. The treatment for lower gum cancer is mandibulectomy, which is a surgical operation to combat cancer around the jawbone.
For more advanced cases of oral cancer, radiation or chemotherapy is employed.
How Are Gum Diseases And Oral Cancer Connected?
Some conditions have cascade effects and result in many others. Gum disease is one of these illnesses.
Gum diseases are associated with several health issues like heart disease, pregnancy difficulties, and cancer. The correlation between oral cancer and gingivitis has been proved based on studies.
Tongue cancer has also been reported to be correlated to periodontal disease, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)’s Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
With chronic gum inflammation, the number of oral bacteria increases, affecting your mouth and other parts, spreading throughout the body. A significant amount of mouth bacteria and inflammation can weaken the immune system and lead to cancers.
The oral bacteria encourage the growth and development of tumors and help them prosper. Oral bacteria can travel through your blood to all parts of the body.
Research has begun to find more evidence of the connection between gum disease and an increased risk of oral cancers, though most of the studies are fresh and groundbreaking.
How Can You Prevent Gum Diseases?
Preventing diseases in the first place is much more reasonable than curing more threatening conditions later. Regular visits to your dentist can help to prevent oral disease or treat it while it is still reversible.
You can also prevent gum diseases with proper oral hygiene and regularly scheduled visits with your dentist. Good oral hygiene routines like regular brushing and flossing can help keep gum disease away. Healthy diets and avoiding tobacco also have a positive impact on oral health.
Whether you want to prevent oral cancers or examine your oral health, we are here to help. You can leave your teeth in good hands to be cared for with the help of advanced methods.
Backed by decades of experience, our professional staff at Aria Dental offers personalized solutions for your oral problems. Here, we are committed to providing the highest standards of dentistry for all oral issues from routine checkups to complex therapies in a convenient environment.
You can find responses to all your dental queries with various services at Aria center.
Our dentists strive to save every tooth with same-day emergency care even on Saturdays.
If you’re in California, you can easily find us in Orange County; if you’re not, no worries. We are with you on the phone for a free consultation.
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