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Around 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019, which may result in 9,750 deaths. That means on average one person will lose the battle against cancer and pass away each hour of every day.
Research suggests that poor oral hygiene may be the sole cause of oral cancer. If this is the case, then at least some of the deaths are preventable simply by practicing good oral hygiene habits.
In this blog, we’re going to talk about the research literature that has attempted to find a link between oral cancer and poor oral hygiene.

HPV Virus

HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. In the majority of cases, the infection goes away on its own without causing any harm, but some may lead to mouth and throat cancer.
In a recent research study, adults who rated their oral health as “poor” or “fair” were more susceptible to the HPV virus. The risk of contracting HPV certainly increases with lower standards of oral care, ultimately increasing the rates of oral cancer.
So, there’s definitely a correlation between the two factors but researchers have been unable to identify a direct causation link. Alternative explanations include higher rates of smoking and having multiple sexual partners.
Even without the direct link, you never know when researchers may finally identify the link between poor oral hygiene and oral cancer. So it’s best to be mindful and practice good oral hygiene habits.

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas (OSCC)

OSCC is the most common type of oral cancer. It’s primarily caused by the increase in the number of oral microbiomes that lead to chronic inflammation. The inflammation results in the mouth becoming susceptible to OSCC.
Researchers have linked the increase in the number of microbiomes with poor oral hygiene habits.
The link between OSCC and the use of tobacco and alcohol is well-documented. The Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology analyzed the existing research literature and concluded that rates of OSCC are definitely higher in people who don’t practice good oral hygiene habits.
The prognosis of oral cancer is difficult and that’s why doctors are unable to identify cancer in its early stages. Even though cause and effect still haven’t been established, the probability that you’re going to develop oral cancer will decrease significantly if you simply practice good oral hygiene habits.
Regular visits to the dentist can help you identify degradation of oral health early on and tackle it in a timely manner.
At Boulevard Dental, dentists are trained to guide patients regarding the best course of action to take care of their oral health. We’re located in Palmdale, CA and ensure that our customers receive the care and respect they deserve.
Contact us at 661-947-7737 to book an appointment today!

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