Oral Cancer: Risk Factors and Prevention Tips

Oral cancer is not the most cheerful subject, but it is crucial to shed light on it. Oral cancer can affect anyone and change lives drastically. But fear not—you can prevent this severe disease by making some changes in your habits. Knowing what causes oral cancer and following simple prevention tips can protect your mouth and throat from harm.



What Causes Oral Cancer?


Oral cancer can result from various factors that damage your mouth or throat cells. Some of these factors are:


  • Tobacco use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can harm your mouth cells and make them more likely to become cancerous.

  • Alcohol use: Taking too much alcohol can raise your oral cancer risk, especially if you also use tobacco.

  • Human papillomavirus: This virus can affect your mouth and throat. Oral cancer can result from some kinds of HPV, mainly in young people.

  • Sun exposure: The sun can damage the skin on your lips and increase your risk of lip cancer.

  • Age: Oral cancer is more common in older people, usually those over 40.

  • Diet: Your oral cancer risk can increase if you eat a poor diet that does not have fruits and vegetables.



How to Lower Your Risk of Oral Cancer


You can prevent oral cancer by changing your lifestyle and habits. 


Quit Tobacco Use


Your oral health and overall health can benefit greatly from quitting tobacco. Doing so can reduce your oral cancer risk and other health issues. You can choose from many options to help you quit tobacco. These include nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, counseling, or medication. 


Limit Alcohol Use


Drink alcohol moderately if you do. Experts recommend a limit of one drink daily for women and two drinks for men. Your liver, heart, and brain can also benefit from drinking less alcohol.


HPV Vaccine


This vaccine can help protect you from oral and other cancers, such as cervical cancer. Boys and girls aged 11 to 12 should get the vaccine. However, older teens and adults up to 26 can get it too.


Protect Your Lips From the Sun


Use a lip balm with sunscreen every time you go outside. Cover your head with a hat when you stay in the sun for a while. Avoid using tanning beds or lamps that expose your lips to harmful UV rays.


Eat a Healthy Diet


Fruits and vegetables boost your immunity and protect your cells. They have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that fight inflammation and infections. You must limit processed foods, red meat, salt, and sugar that harm your health and increase your chronic disease risk.


Get Regular Dental Exams


See your dentist yearly for a checkup and cleaning. Your dentist can find oral cancer or other issues in your mouth. See your dentist soon if you experience mouth sores, lumps, pain, bleeding, or trouble swallowing.





Oral cancer is a severe condition that requires your attention and action to prevent it. Knowing what causes oral cancer and taking preventive steps can significantly lower your chance of getting this disease. Remember that early diagnosis is crucial, so be alert and watch out for abnormal changes in your mouth or throat.


For more on oral cancer, visit Oral Surgical Associates at our office in Missoula or Hamilton, Montana. Call (406) 282-8768 to book an appointment today.

admin none 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Closed Closed Oral Surgeon https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk02CCOBbTmOq5awIzLlKg1PVTRAmUA%3A1601392810580&ei=qlBzX4j1IpH-tAWBjZCQBg&q=oral+surgical+associates%2C+MT&oq=oral+surgical+associates%2C+MT&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjoECAAQRzoLCC4QxwEQrwEQkwI6AggAUI8hWMFVYOxcaAFwAXgAgAHAAogBxQaSAQcxLjIuMS4xmAEAoAEBqgEHZ3dzLXdpesgBCMABAQ&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwiI8vqM1Y7sAhURP60KHYEGBGIQ4dUDCA0&uact=5#lrd=0x535dcdc8ef0ae879:0x106b4e9457adaff6,3,,, https://www.yelp.com/writeareview/biz/jRHoIYGLZN-yE_6vvuusRg?return_url=%2Fbiz%2FjRHoIYGLZN-yE_6vvuusRg&source=biz_details_war_button https://www.facebook.com/pg/Oral-Surgical-Associates-193401914005904/reviews/?ref=page_internal