Oral Cancer

The Oral Cancer-Mouthwash Connection: Can Rinsing Give You Cancer?

When your toothbrush is nowhere in sight and time is running out, mouth rinse is your next best option. Although this quick fix eliminates unpleasant breath and bacteria, it might become a dangerous habit.

oral cancerWhile heavy drinkers and chain smokers have the highest risk for oral cancer, frequent users of mouthwash catch up to the list. Some types of rinses contain 26% of alcohol; when you replace floss and toothpaste with mouthwash, you might be at risk for oral cancer.

The Oral Cancer-Mouth Rinse Connection

Studies that observe the connection between rinses and alcohol date back to 1979. One study reviewed 200 patients with mouth cancer and discovered that 10 out of the 11 participants did not smoke nor drink. The cause behind their condition? Frequent usage of high-alcohol content mouth rinses.

Another study, published in the 1991 Cancer Research journal, observed 866 patients suffering from oral and throat cancer. The researchers reported that the risk of cancer development was 60% higher in women and 40% higher in men who used mouthwash more than 3 times a day.

According to recent studies, the high alcohol content in some oral rinses acts as a cell-lining inside the mouth. This allows substances with carcinogens to penetrate the mouth’s protective barrier, increasing risks of oral cancer.

What the Mouthwash Lover can Do

While there remains no strong link between oral cancer and your mouth wash, it pays to be mindful and prepared.

Like with other things, moderation is your safest bet against cancer. Refrain from using your mouth rinse for more than 3 uses a day. Although it can be tempting to just rinse when your toothbrush is not within range, encourage yourself to traditional mouth cleaning.

Say goodbye to alcohol content by switching to the alcohol-free mouthwashes; drop by the nearest commercial establishment for one. But before you do, ask your dentist for his recommendation of alcohol-free mouth rinses.

Love your mouth and say no to cancer; here at Warrendale Dental, we practice both. Our team not only offers professional advice on good hygiene, we also provide preventative oral cancer screening. Get in touch with us now for more information.

Can Kissing Increase the Risk of Mouth Cancer?

Researchers have long cited smoking as the leading culprit behind various cancers, particularly head and neck types. Recently, however, studies suggest that kissing increases your risk of getting oral cancer more than smoking.

Kissing and the Human Papillomavirus

oral cancerMore non-smokers develop cancers due to the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common infection contracted through skin-to-skin contact, such as French kissing. The virus can survive for days in the mouth and genitals of both male and female. If not resolved soon, it can lead to cervical cancer for women with HPV.

So how does HPV put you at greater risk of mouth cancer?

According to Cancer Research UK, around 8 out of 10 people will most likely contract HPV in the future. Fortunately, there is no need to panic because only 15 out of the hundred different types can cause cancer. Known as ‘high-risk’, these HPV types pose higher threats of oral cancer development due to persistent infections.

High-Risk HPV and Its Role in Oral Cancer

HPV’s effect on your body and cancer development is indirect. The infection begins in the deepest layers of the skin, which leads to the rapid division of viruses. In other high-risk cases, HPV also damages your cell’s DNA, causing out-of-control growth and development of oral cancer.

HPV continues to be a significant cause of oral cancer, next to drinking alcohol and smoking. The National Health Service reports 35% of throat cancers and 25% are HPV-related. Cancer Research UK also reports 40% of mouth cancer cases linked to HPV infection.

Will Kissing Give You Oral Cancer?

Dr Mahiban Thomas, head of Maxillofacial and Head and Neck Surgery at the Royal Dawrwin Hospital in Australia, believes that kissing more than six people increases the risk for HPV. While some are not for the claim, it is still undeniable that kissing is a form of HPV transmission.

There remains no solid evidence on whether kissing can increase risk of developing oral cancer. Still, it is important to take necessary precautions to protect yourself, and kiss your loved one at the same time.

Have yourself checked with Warrendale Dental Care’s oral cancer screening. Get in touch with us now for more information.

Oral Cancer: Recognising a Potential Killer

Cancer is very much like every serial killer there has ever been. It just sneaks up on you without any pretence and ruins your life. Jaundiced as it is, would you describe cancer as any less as a disease on human life? Any form of it has the potential to spread all over your body like water, albeit more destructive and filled with cell-killing particles.

oral cancerIt even occurs in a place you would normally think is safe from anything other than bleeding. Your mouth, yes, is at risk of developing cancer. It is not as common among young people, but they are likely to consume copious amounts of alcohol and tobacco. Those two, more than age and sun exposure, accelerate oral cancer’s growth.

As for the sun aspect, your lips’ overexposure to UV rays increases the risk of developing mouth malignancy. If you are planning your holiday in sunny Spain, do not ever forget to put some sunblock lotion on your lips.

Oral Origins

Symptoms of mouth cancer are very subtle, if not invisible to the naked eye. For that reason, it is important to recognise the signs and the dangers of letting those indications linger. Many of the signs are not what you will notice on a normal day, but it will help if you know what you are looking for.

  • Fresh, Non-Healing Wounds – sores, blisters and bleeding should heal or at least not be painful anymore in a matter of days. If it does not mend after a few days, consider procuring drugs for it. It is a bad sign if the wound still does not heal by then.
  • Struggle in Swallowing – When there is pain when you swallow, you should take it to the doctor. Whether it is in your throat, mouth or tongue, eating should not be a difficulty.
  • Lumps and Discoloured Patches – your mouth only has room for the necessities. So, when you see suspicious lumps and white spots, it should raise the cancer alert.

It would not hurt getting a screening from your dentist. Visit Warrendale Dental Care at Chase Road in Ross-on-Wye to get your evaluation.

Contact us for more information.