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Causes and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be a serious risk to your life, which is why it is important to catch and diagnose oral cancer early. Every year a large number of people are affected by this disease. We are going to cover what causes oral cancer, and ways to reduce your risk of getting it.

Every year there are over 50,000 people diagnosed with oral cancer, and kills 24 people every single day. This isn’t a disease that is incredibly rare like many people assume. Even if it is able to be treated it can cause serious oral issues such as difficulty speaking and eating. Thankfully you can nearly eliminate the chances of you developing oral cancer by avoiding certain lifestyle choices.

Typically oral cancer is linked to alcohol consumption, tobacco, and older age. However, it is actually also connected to the HPV virus which has been spreading in younger people over the last decades. The best way to reduce your chance of oral cancer is to not smoke, or stop smoking if you currently do. This includes cigarettes, pipes, chewing Tabaco, and any other form of tobacco. Not only does tobacco greatly increase your chances of oral cancer, but also throat and lung cancer.

Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume is another effective way to reduce mouth cancer risk. 70% of all oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. Lowering your alcohol consumption can benefit your health in many other ways as well. HPV is an STD that is becoming increasingly common and has been linked to mouth cancer. Using the standard STD prevention methods are the best way to eliminate this risk.

There are many different symptoms caused by oral cancer, and they don’t all have to be present in order for you to have cancer. One of the most common symptoms is a lump in the mouth, lip, or throat. White and red color patches in your mouth is another sign of cancer. If you ever have a sore throat that just won’t go away, it could be because of oral cancer and you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to check you for mouth cancer. Swelling or difficulty in swallowing or chewing can also be a way for you to tell if you potentially have oral cancer. Again this is not all of the symptoms, so if you are ever experiencing pain or discomfort in your mouth, you should schedule a dental appointment.


Taking care of your oral health is just as important as taking care of the rest of your health. Next time you have a dental visit have an oral cancer screening performed.