April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Nearly two thirds of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of chronic gum infection, also known as periodontal disease or gingivitis. This is particularly concerning when you consider the connection between chronic gum infections and potentially life threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even some types of cancer. Additionally, every sixty minutes, a person dies from oral cancer. The disease is typically associated with long-term tobacco use, but it is becoming more frequent in young adults who have never smoked, but who may have contracted a common virus.

Besides tobacco use, the risk factors that could lead to oral cancer include DNA abnormalities or family history. But the main cause, especially in young adults who don’t smoke, is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which may be spread by sexually active people through intimate contact. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, which was once the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States. emember to brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

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