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Who Is at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Last updated 5 years ago

Oral cancer is a disease that affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, throat, sinuses, floor of the mouth, and the hard and soft palates. While some individuals are genetically predisposed to oral cancer, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can increase a person’s risk for the disease. Continue reading to find out if you are at risk for developing oral cancer, and be sure to visit your dentist for regular oral cancer screenings.

Individuals who smoke cigarettes, smoke cigars, chew tobacco, or use dip are all at increased risk for oral cancer. This is because tobacco contains carcinogens that harm the cells within your mouth and lead to DNA mutations, causing the cells to become cancerous and grow at an uncontrollable rate.

Individuals with a History of HPV
HPV, or human papilloma virus, is actually a group of over 100 related viruses, some of which have been linked to the development of certain cancers, such as cervical, oral, and oropharyngeal cancer.

Heavy Drinkers
Drinking alcohol in excess makes the cells within your mouth more susceptible to mutations and abnormalities, ultimately increasing the risk for developing oral cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society states that approximately seven out of 10 individuals diagnosed with oral cancer drink excessively.

People with Poor Oral Hygiene
Lack of proper brushing and flossing allows plaque and tartar to build up along the surface of your teeth and gums, leading to tooth decay and periodontal disease if left untreated. This increases the risk of oral cancer—chronic inflammation associated with periodontal disease can lead to cell mutations and DNA abnormalities.

Find out if you are at risk for oral cancer and periodontal disease by setting up a professional cleaning and oral examination with The Smile Design Center in Baltimore. Call our general dentists at (443) 275-9821 for more information on our services. You can also set up an appointment with our cosmetic dentists by visiting us online. 


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All content and information available is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing dental advice. You should contact your dentist to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within this site does not create a dentist-client relationship.
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