What Causes Oral Cancer and Prevention Tips?

What Causes Oral Cancer and Prevention Tips?

May 1, 2022

Mouth cancer is one of the most common forms of neck and head cancer. It usually affects individuals of age 60 and more. Oral cancer affects your tongue, lips, mouth floor, and mouth roof. As per National Cancer Institute, you should visit an Oral cancer Screening dentist before your mouth starts showing symptoms.

What is Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening is known as mouth cancer screening. It is a precautionary measure performed at every dental hygiene appointment.

What Are the Oral Cancer Causes and Risk Factors?

Let us check out the causes and risk factors of mouth cancer:


When the cells in the mouth or lips alter mutations in DNA, oral cancer starts forming. The abnormal oral cancer results in a tumor. These cancerous cells spread inside the mouth and other regions of the neck, head, and other body parts with time.

Mouth cancer usually starts in thin squamous cells that line the inside of your mouth and lips. It is unclear what causes squamous cell mutations. Oral cancers form when cells on the lips or in the mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA.

A cell’s DNA instructs a cell about what to do. When healthy cells die, the mutations change and tell the cells to continue developing and dividing.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Below are the factors that can increase the risk of mouth cancer:

1. General

a) Age

Age is one of the risk factors for mouth cancer. The average age for mouth cancer diagnosis is 62.

b) Gender

It is another major risk factor for oral cancer. Oral cancer is 2x in men as compared to women.

c) Poor Nutrition

Many studies have found a connection between enhanced oral cancer risk and diets low in veggies and fruits.

d) UV Light

Lip cancers develop more in individuals that get prolonged ultraviolet light exposure.

2. Genetics

Few inherited genetic mutations result in different body syndromes. It also creates a risk of mouth cancer.

3. Lifestyle

a) Alcohol

Did you know 70% of individuals diagnosed with mouth cancer are heavy drinkers? It signifies that the risk of oral cancer in those who regularly smoke and drink is higher than in those who don’t.

b) Betel Quid

Betel quid is a leaf of betel plant wrapped around a lime and areca nut. This substance plays an essential role in increasing the risk of oral cancer.

c) Tobacco

Chewing tobacco or using it in cigarette form also develops cancer in the gums, cheeks, and inner lip surfaces. It usually depends on the frequency and duration of tobacco use.

Prevention Tips

Oral cancer risk increases with age. Although there are no proven methods to prevent oral cancer, you can use the following tips to lower the risk:

  1. Limit Sun Exposure to Your Lips

Repeated sun exposure increases the risk of lip cancer, mainly on the lower lip. So, stay in the shade as possible. It will shield your whole face, including your mouth. You can use a sunscreen lip product or wear a broad-brimmed hat as a part of your sun protection routine.

  1. Consume Alcohol in Moderation

Refrain from drinking alcohol regularly; excessive alcohol consumption can irritate the mouth cells, making them more prone to oral cancer. It means healthy adults must consume no more than two drinks per day. However, those more than 65 ages should not have one drink per day.

  1. Visit Dentist Regularly

Make a habit of regularly visiting the dentist nearby. They will conduct a routine dental examination to examine your mouth for abnormal changes that may indicate oral cancer.

Frequency of an Oral Cancer Screening

Many factors play a role in how often a person should get oral cancer screening in Knoxville, IA. The dental expert can help you decide when to get it.

Our recommendation is one or two times a year. It will lower the chances of undiagnosed mouth cancer. Individuals with risk factors should have a yearly screening than those at less risk. Early detection of oral cancer enhances the patient’s chances of successfully getting treatment.