A dentist doing an oral exam, showing bleeding gums
Bleeding gums may not seem like a big deal, but can be a symptoms of many serious ailments.

Gum Cancer or Gingivitis

Oral health can impact your entire well-being. It’s incredible how an issue with your mouth can actually have huge implications on your body! It’s important for people to understand what various dental diseases and cancers are so that they can be on the lookout for early warning signs.

Our gums are incredibly sensitive to bacteria, which means they can be impacted easily and often. While bleeding and sensitivity can mean a variety of things for your oral health, it could also be a telltale sign of a more serious conditions.

You may be surprised to learn about the correlation between gingivitis and gum cancer. Understanding the distinction may help you avoid dental problems in the future, or at the very least allow for early detection so you can start an effective treatment plan sooner.

Gum Cancer vs. Gingivitis Signs

Gingivitis is an incredibly common gum condition. Nearly 47 percent of people experience some level of gingivitis in their lifetime. The warning signs are usually red, inflamed gums, as well as bleeding gums. Gingivitis can be avoided by scheduling regular visits with your dentist.

While many people avoid the dentist chair like the plague, it is the only sure way to ensure that you are maintaining proper oral care. A dentist will readily identify if you have gingivitis and help you understand what you should do to remedy it.

Gum cancer, or more specifically, oral cancer, can actually impact anywhere in your mouth. Oftentimes, people confuse the signs of gum cancer with being simply gingivitis.

However, if you look closely at the patches on the gum when it is cancer, you’ll see that it appears in splotchy growths. The splotches can be either red and white (erythroleukoplakia), or only white (leukoplakia), or only red (erythroplakia). Red or red and white splotches are usually malignant while white splotches tend to be benign.

As you can see, the redness of the gums is what makes it incredibly difficult for people to properly self-diagnosis their condition. If you notice redness, you should get your condition evaluated right away by a professional dentist.

Possible Links Between Gingivitis and Gum Cancer

You’ll notice that when it comes to symptoms, redness of the gums is a common factor in gum cancer and gum disease. Of course, this is not the only factor that research has discovered.

While the specific link between gum disease and gum cancer is not readily clear, there are studies that prove that it can be a factor. It is said that individuals with gum disease may have up to 14 percent more chance of developing gum cancer at some point in their life than those without it.

Having gum disease can also increase your chances of developing other forms of cancer as well. This possible distinction proves yet again that it is incredibly important to take care of your oral health, and make sure that you are reporting any changes right away. You never know what may have a more significant impact on your health.

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Healthy Tips

It’s important to take care of your entire well-being. Many people think that your health is only limited to your body. However, your oral health is certainly important, too.

A few healthy tips that you should keep in mind include:

  • Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and making additional appointments if you notice any changes.
  • Eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary foods and drinks that are detrimental to your teeth.
  • Remember to floss at least once per day, or following each meal.
  • Brush your teeth with a quality toothbrush and remember to use a new toothbrush every few weeks, or if you’ve had a recent illness.
  • Make sure to take a look at your teeth and gums to see if you can spot any sudden changes.

Your oral health matters and the earlier you notice any changes, the more likely you’ll be able to find a fast solution. Don’t ignore the early warning signs!

Is It Gum Cancer or Gingivitis?

Whether you have gum disease or gum cancer, it’s important to get help right away. Leaving either condition untreated can have significant consequences. Never choose to ignore changes in your mouth, and never substitute self-diagnosing for a professional dentist’s opinion.

It’s critical to practice good oral care at home and continue regular dental checkups. You should brush your teeth twice per day and floss at least once per day. Doing these things will greatly reduce your chances of developing gum disease. Additionally, you should not smoke, and only drink in moderation.

Be mindful of your oral health and report any changes in the appearance of your gums and teeth right away. Remember, early detection is key when trying to remedy any type of cancer or illness. Take back your health by being self-aware, as it can certainly make all the difference.