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Most Common Causes of Oral Cancer to Be Mindful Of

Posted on 4/20/2017 by Boeckel
A woman smoking a cigarette.
Oral cancer describes cancerous growths that affect any area of your mouth, including your gums, tongue, cheeks, roof and floor of your mouth and the entrance to the throat.

It affects thousands of people every year.

Oral cancer, can be fatal, if not found and treated early, making early detection essential.

There are a few factors that put you at risk for developing oral cancer in your lifetime that you should be mindful of.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can present itself in several diff
erent forms. Symptoms of oral cancer include:

•  Sore spots in your mouth that don't go away.
•  Swelling or lumps
•  Unexplained bleeding.
•  Numbness in the face.
•  Difficulty with chewing or swallowing.
•  Changes in the way that your dentures fit.

Tobacco Use

Smoking, or the use of tobacco products in general, is one of the most common causes of oral cancer. Tobacco products contain numerous harmful and even carcinogenic chemicals.

Those who smoke are up to 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers. And those who use chewing tobacco are at a highly-increased risk of developing cancer in the area of the mouth where they store the product. Approximately 80% of those with oral cancer used tobacco products during their lifetime.

Excessive alcohol use is another extremely common cause of oral cancer. Much like smoking, those who drink to excess are up to 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who don't drink. About 70% of those with oral cancer are heavy drinkers. And if you are both a smoker and a drinker, your risk is even higher.

Family History
Genetics can play a role in your likelihood of developing oral cancer. While you may never experience oral cancer, if you have a family history of it, your chances are much higher than someone whose family history is oral cancer-free.


Human papilloma virus, or HPV, includes several types of viruses. Some of these variations are linked to cancer. HPV is most frequently associated with cervical cancer, but some strains can also lead to oral cancer.

If you fall into any category that might put you at an increased risk for developing oral cancer, it is important to discuss these things with your dentist. And if you notice any signs or symptoms, it is important that you contact our office right away.

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14300 SW Pacific Hwy
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 985-8945
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14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR 97224



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Lisa Gitelson, DMD, 14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR, 97224-3790 - Related Phrases: dentist Tigard OR; Family Dentistry Tigard OR; Preventative Dentistry Tigard OR; (503) 985-8945;; 3/23/2019