Education is the key to raising awareness about the risks of mouth cancer.
“Research shows that three in four people who have mouth cancer have smoked at some point in their lives.” Most people are now aware that smoking carries serious health risks but they assume is means lung cancer. They do not always associate it with lesser known head and neck cancers.
The mouth cancer screening accreditation scheme which aims to educate both dental practices and patients that thorough head and neck cancer screening can be carried out at routine dental appointments by dentists in just two minutes.
Post menopausal women who have smoked are at higher risk of losing their teeth than women who have never smoked, according to a new study published in the journal of the American Dental Association by researchers at the University at Buffalo.
Smoking has long been associated with tooth loss, but postmenopausal women, in particular, experience more tooth loss than their male counterparts.
In the study, heavy smokers defined as those who had at least 26 pack-years of smoking, or the equivalent of having smoked a pack a day for 26 years were nearly twice as likely to report having experienced tooth loss overall and more than six times as likely to have experienced tooth loss due to periodontal disease, compared to those who had never smoked. Participants provided information to researchers using detailed questionnaire covering smoking history. Each participant also underwent a comprehensive oral examination and reported to the dental examiners reasons for each tooth lost. In some cases patients dental records also were reviewed.
“We found that heavy smokers had significantly higher odds of experiencing tooth loss due to periodontal disease than those who never smoked,” explains Mai. “ We also found that the more women smoked, the more likely they experienced tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease.”
Dental Tribune UK edition Volume 7 no 6 March 18-24th 2013