The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has warned against smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, describing such acts as major causes of mouth cancer.

Dr Abdulkadir Katagum, the Dental Coordinator of NMA, FCT chapter, gave the warning in an interview with journalists on Monday in Abuja, on the sidelines of the World Oral Health day celebration.

The annual celebration of the World Oral Health is on March 20 and this year’s
theme is “Live Mouth Smart.”

Katagum explained that cigarettes and alcohol often deposited some hard-to-remove stains on the teeth, leaving the mouth dry and causing bad breath or halitosis, as well as oral cancer.

He added that “alcohol burns the mouth, causing changes in the normal architecture of the cells in the oral cavity.

“Smoking and alcohol consumption can make a person 10 times exposed to getting cancer of the mouth and lips, also known as oral cancer.

“Smoking cigarettes with thousands of the constituents of tobacco leads to many types of cancer like oral cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, among others,”

Katagum said the theme for this year’s World Oral Health day was geared toward raising awareness on healthy mouth and a healthier nation.

According to him, the World Dental Day, launched in March 2013 by the World Dental Federation, is also to raise awareness on oral health and prevent oral diseases.

He said that the day would enable government, health associations and the public to work together to achieve healthier mouth and happier lives.

“The day offers every country the opportunity to develop activities and initiatives aimed at increasing awareness on oral health, as well as appraise the impact of oral diseases on general health, well-being and the economy,” he said.

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