ACCORDING TO RECENT studies, oral cancer rates among women and young people have increased! Although a variety of factors are to blame, the increasing use of e-cigarette products could be associated with the rise in cases.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a cartridge containing a liquid solution of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals, producing an aerosol that the user inhales. While these devices don’t contain solid tobacco products, some of the liquid components are obtained from tobacco plants or byproducts.
E-cigarettes often are perceived to be less dangerous than the conventional variety, but studies about these are fairly new. These products contain nicotine, which not only is addictive, but can have adverse effects on the body, especially on the developing adolescent brain. In addition to nicotine, most of the devices contain a mixture of propylene glycol, glycerol, and flavorings. Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, can be produced during the “vaping” process, possibly exposing the user and others nearby to this harmful chemical.
In our office, we perform an oral cancer exam as part of the regular oral checkup. As dentists, we are in a position to spot early warning signs of illness. Diseases such as lung cancer can take decades to develop, but many oral pathologies, such as periodontal disease, appear much sooner and can point to trouble ahead.
If you smoke, visit our office at least twice a year for a complete oral exam. We will determine if you have any lesions to be concerned about. Remember that prevention is very important and can save you pain, time, and money in the long term. There are nicotine-replacement therapies that could help the smoker quit.
As always, we are available to address any concerns you may have regarding your oral health. We are here to serve you. For more information or to make an appointment, call (863) 216-5702 or visit www.ProfessionalSmiles.net.
This column is sponsored by Professional Smiles.
column by DR. JOSE F. LOPEZ
BIO: After following a lifelong dream of dentistry, Dr. Jose F. Lopez graduated from the University of Puerto Rico Dental School in 2001. He established his Davenport, FL practice in 2008. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Lopez is very dedicated to his profession, and his number one priority is providing the highest level of patient care and dentistry in a relaxing and comfortable environment, while maintaining exceptional quality service.