Oral Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

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Long Term Effect of Smoking on TeethNearly 5 million people in India get Oral Cancer every year, out of which 70% are men according to World Health Organisation. It can be seen on lips, tongue, cheeks, palate, throat, and sinuses. But do you really know what causes Oral Cancer and how can it be prevented? 

Most oral cancer is detected at a late stage, which if detected early is completely curable. So, we bring this blog to you to help you detect the signs of Oral Cancer in your own mouth! 


What are the Causes of Oral Cancer?


  • Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.Oral Cancer Cause - Smoking
  • Smokeless tobacco use which includes vapes, e-cigarettes, hookahs, dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco. 
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol. 
  • A family history of cancer.
  • UV Rays due to excessive sun exposure, especially at a young age. 
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Certain HPV strains are etiologic risk factors for sex. 
  • A Poor diet. Studies have found a link between oral cancer and not eating enough vegetables and fruits.


Note: 25% of all people that get cancer have never smoked or who consume alcohol occasionally.


What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?


  • Lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, cheek or other areas inside the mouth.
  • Velvety white, red patches in the mouth.Tooth Pain
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck.
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks.
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice.
  • Ear pain.
  • Swelling or pain in your jaw. If you wear dentures, they might be uncomfortable or hard to put in.
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together.
  • Dramatic weight loss.


How Can Your Dentist Help You with Oral Cancer?


Your mouth is the mirror of your body. Did you know Dentists are the first physicians to detect Oral Cancer in your mouth?

  • They will observe for lumps, or irregular tissue in your neck, mouth, and oral cavity. 
  • Further, a biopsy of the irregular suspicious tissue will be carried out if needed.
  • A confirmed diagnosis will get you referred for treatment to an Oral Surgeon, who is also a Dental Specialist.


What Preventative Measures Can You take against Oral Cancer?


  • Eat a well-balanced diet.Oral Cancer Awareness
  • Limit UV exposure.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, or any other substance abuse.
  • Practice relaxation techniques to manage stress.
  • Contact your dentist if you notice any of these aforementioned signs. 
  • Conduct regular self-exams of your mouth.
  • Further, visit your dentist for regular check-ups.


A catch in time will save you nine! Wishing you happy oral health!

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