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The Dangers of Dipping

March 30, 2015

Great Expressions Dental Centers covers all the bases to prevent oral cancer

ATLANTA, GA – March 30, 2015 – Oral cancer can affect anyone – it doesn’t care who you are or what you have achieved. Whether you’re a Baseball Hall of Famer dipping chewing tobacco throughout your playing career or just an average Joe spending a lot of time in the sun, you are at risk of contracting oral cancer. As baseball season gets underway and millions of impressionable children are exposed to chewing tobacco Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) seeks to raise awareness to the dangers of dipping, while providing tips to help prevent this life-threatening disease.

Studies show that one person dies from oral cancer every hour. While oral cancer can be discovered through oral health screenings, death rates associated with the disease are historically high because the cancer continues to be discovered late in its development due to a lack of visual evidence. To help reduce the number of oral cancer related deaths, GEDC includes oral cancer screenings as part of every dental exam.

“As we’ve seen, oral cancer can be life-threatening and can easily go unnoticed in its early stages,” said Dr. Vincent Lizzio with Great Expressions Dental Centers. “We want everyone to know the importance of being proactive about the prevention of oral cancer and work to detect signs in the early stages of development. That’s why at every visit we perform visual cancer screenings on all of our patients as part of our standard practice.”

To support Oral Cancer Awareness Month, GEDC offers the following vital tips to assist with preventing oral cancer:

  • Avoid tobacco products. According to the National Cancer Institute, tobacco use is the leading cause of oral cancer. Tobacco includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco. Not only can use of these products cause oral cancer in the mouth but also parts of the throat.
  • Limit alcohol use. . Using alcohol is a large risk factor for oral cancer. The more alcoholic drinks consumed daily, the higher the risk of oral cancer. The risk is about twice as high in people who have three to four alcoholic drinks per day compared to those who don’t drink alcohol, according to the National Cancer Institute.
  • Sun exposure. . Repeated exposure to sunlight may increase the risk of lip cancer, which most often occurs on the lower lip. Applying chapstick with sunscreen everyday will help prevent sun damage and cancer.
  • Regular dentist visits and self-examinations. . Scheduling your six month exams is a great way to keep a healthy mouth. The dentist is the first line of defense in identifying dental health problems that may be associated with oral cancer. In addition, be sure to take a few minutes each month for a self-exam to see if you can see or feel anything suspicious including lumps; bumps; tender areas; and any white, red or grey patches. If these symptoms are found, contact your dentist immediately.
  • Brush and floss daily. . Brushing twice a day with a fluoride based toothpaste is critical in removing bacteria that causes cavities, gingivitis and bad breath. Flossing sometimes is easily forgotten, however, if you don’t floss, you will miss cleaning 35 percent of your tooth surfaces. Flossing in the evening will remove bacteria that like to feed on food particles throughout the day and prevent bad breath.
  • Spotting early and advanced indicators. . Early indicators of oral cancer include: red or white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth, any sore that does not heal within 14 days and hoarseness which lasts for a prolonged period of time. Advanced indicators of oral cancer include: a sensation that something is stuck in your throat, numbness in the oral region, difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue, difficulty in swallowing, ear pain in one side only, or a lump that develops in the mouth or on the neck.

Prevention includes being educated, knowing what to look for and having an oral cancer screening. A screening consists of an examination of the face, neck, lip and mouth for signs of cancer, as well as checking the tongue for any lesions or discolorations. A more thorough exam, Vizilite, will be offered at $39 in April, which enhances the visual exam to find lesions at an earlier stage. To find a GEDC office near you, visit

About Great Expressions

For nearly 40 years, Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) has been a leader in preventative dental care, orthodontics and specialty care with local offices in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia. One of the largest privately owned dental service organizations in the United States, GEDC is consistently recognized for contributions to improving oral health through quality and safety initiatives, affordable dental care services, patient convenience, research and more. For more information, go to


Kim Tassie
Lambert, Edwards & Associates

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