Tanning and Oral Cancer
Spring in Arkansas is certainly a cause for celebration, but if you’re celebrating outside, remember to bring along a tube of sunscreen.
Once identified as an old man’s disease, oral cancer is increasingly becoming a problem for non-smoking young adults. In many cases, oral cancer is the result of lifestyle choices and not genetic predisposition. Take a moment to review your behaviors, and learn what changes you can make to mitigate your risk of diagnosis.
People with an increased risk include:
1. Tobacco users. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, at least 75 percent of people, age 50 or older, diagnosed with oral cancer have been tobacco users. It doesn't matter if it’s cigarettes, pipes, cigars or chewing tobacco – the longer you've used tobacco products, the greater your risk. Consider quitting or cutting back your use of these products.
2. Habitual tanners or anyone with a Mother Nature-loving lifestyle. Trade your time in the tanning bed for time applying UV-free bronzing lotion. If you come by your tan naturally – for instance, if you work outside or enjoy outdoor sports – be sure to stock up on SPF. Another good choice for outdoor lovers – hats. Though we tend to associate SPF with sunscreen, it’s just as important to make sure your lip balm contains the sun-blocking substance as well. Lip cancers are caused primarily by excess sun exposure.
3. People who drink excessively. Moderate alcohol consumption doesn't necessarily put you at risk, but consistently overdoing it has been linked to oral cancer. The more you drink, the greater the risk.
4. Beware of human papillomaviruses (HPV). Educate yourself on how HPV is transmitted and take steps to keep yourself protected.
With Riverfest starting tomorrow, don’t risk your sweet smile. Slather on the SPF for a fun-filled, sun-protected weekend!
We are a proud sponsor of Riverfest this year, and we hope to see you out there! Look for the Delta Dental Smile Cam, and show off your pearly whites!