Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for a healthy mouth, but did you know it also plays a significant role in preventing serious diseases like oral cancer? Neglecting proper dental care can have a significant impact on your overall health. Fortunately, regular dental check-ups with the knowledgeable staff at Stamford Dental Spa can help prevent such issues. In this blog, we’ll delve into how bad oral hygiene can contribute to several diseases and provide actionable steps to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine. Keep reading!
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or throat. According to the American Cancer Society, about 53,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. While tobacco use (including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco) is the leading cause of oral cancer, poor oral hygiene is also a risk factor.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
Studies have shown that people with poor oral hygiene are more likely to develop oral cancer than those who practice good oral hygiene. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it will harden into tartar, which can irritate your gums and lead to gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can destroy the bone that supports your teeth and cause your teeth to fall out.
In addition to causing gum disease, plaque and tartar can also promote the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria release toxins that can damage your gums and contribute to the development of oral cancer.
How Bad Oral Hygiene Can Lead to Oral Cancer
When you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly, bacteria and plaque build up on your teeth and gums. This buildup can irritate your gum tissue and make it more susceptible to infection. If the infection spreads, it can damage the bones and soft tissue in your mouth, which can lead to cancer.
Since oral cancer is a serious disease that can be difficult to detect in its early stages, it makes it extra important to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups.
Preventing Oral Cancer
The best way to prevent oral cancer is to practice good oral hygiene habits and see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothbrush that has soft bristles. In addition to brushing your teeth, you should also floss at least once a day to remove plaque from between your teeth and beneath your gum line.
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Mouth
To maintain a healthy mouth, it’s essential to follow a few simple steps. Start by brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth. Additionally, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your oral health in check. Avoiding tobacco products altogether and limiting alcohol consumption are also crucial for maintaining optimal oral health.
Finally, don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. During these appointments, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer and remove any plaque or tartar buildup. Remember that early detection is key when it comes to treating oral cancer—catch it early enough, and treatment is often successful.
Bad oral hygiene doesn’t just lead to cavities; it has also been linked to various health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. That’s why it’s so important to brush and floss regularly and see your dentist for professional cleanings and check-ups. If you’re due for a cleaning or check-up, or if you have any concerns about your oral health, call Stamford Dental Spa today! We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and schedule an appointment for you.