• Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent Getting Oral Cancer?

    Is there anything I can do to prevent getting oral cancer?

    Yes. Sticking to your recommended regular checkups means your dentist is able to look for signs of oral cancer in your mouth with every visit. As with every other type of cancer, there is more that can be done to minimise the risks when oral cancer is detected early.

    You can also help your dentist by letting them know if/when you notice any unusual colour changes anywhere in your mouth. It might be extra redness or white areas that seem new.

    You also want to tell your dentist if you get any strange or abnormal growths in your mouth or sores that won’t heal. Areas of numbness or pain, and problems with chewing or swallowing, the feeling that something is caught in the throat, can also be early indicators that your Dentist needs to investigate for oral cancer.

    Where do I look for warning signs of oral cancer?

    Oral cancers are usually found on or under the tongue. They can also occur on any of the soft tissues of the mouth (gums, cheeks and lips) and on the soft palate (the back of the roof of the mouth).

    What increases the risks of getting oral cancer?

    The majority of cases of oral cancer are linked to cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. People who both smoke and drink heavily run the highest risk of getting oral cancer.

    The risks of having oral cancer also increase with age and most often occur in people over the age of 40.

    Individuals who are infected with HPV (a sexually transmitted infection – Human Papilloma Virus) have been found to be high risk for a particular subset of oral cancer.

    Excessive sun exposure can cause cancer of the lip, while a diet low in fruits and vegetables have also be found to play a role in being vulnerable to developing oral cancers.

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