Oral Cancer Awareness: Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Early Detection

Oral Cancer Awareness: Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Early Detection

March 1, 2024

Oral cancer, a critical health issue that often flies under the radar, is marked by the growth of cancerous tissues in the oral cavity. At Smiles of Gilbert Dentistry, our mission is to shed light on this condition, emphasizing the significance of awareness, understanding risk factors, recognizing symptoms, and the crucial role of early detection. This conversation is vital for those seeking dental care in Gilbert and the broader community.

Understanding Oral Cancer

Oral cancer poses a significant threat to oral and throat health, encompassing various areas such as the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. Recognizing the signs is crucial for early detection. Awareness and understanding of this disease are paramount because, when not diagnosed early, oral cancer can be life-threatening.

Risk Factors

A few gamble factors improve the probability of creating oral cancer. These include:

  • Tobacco Use: Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or using chewing tobacco significantly increases your risk.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Heavy alcohol use is another significant risk factor.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Certain strains of HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, have been linked to oral cancers, particularly those of the throat.
  • Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure to the lips can also increase the risk.
  • Gender and Age: Men are two times as prone to foster oral disease as ladies, and the risk increases with age.
  • Diet: An eating regimen low in leafy foods might contribute to oral malignant growth improvement.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Early identification of oral cancer growth enormously works on the possibilities of effective treatment, which is why knowing the symptoms is crucial. Symptoms include:

  • A sore or disturbance that doesn’t disappear
  • Look out for red or white patches in the mouth.
  • Be mindful of any pain, tenderness, or numbness in the mouth or lips.
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small eroded area.
  • You have trouble biting, gulping, talking, or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • A change in how your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth.

Experiencing any of these symptoms for more than two weeks warrants a visit to a dentist near you for a thorough examination.

The Role of Dentists in Early Detection

Dental specialists assume an urgent part in the early discovery of oral disease. Regular dental check-ups, which include an examination of the entire mouth, are essential for catching the disease in its early stages, even before symptoms become apparent. At Smiles of Gilbert Dentistry, our dentists are trained to perform screenings for oral cancer, looking for any signs of abnormal tissue or other indicators of the condition.

During a dental visit, the dental specialist will look at your mouth thoroughly, looking for any signs of oral cancer. This examination is quick and painless, involving a visual inspection and palpation of the mouth and throat areas. If any abnormalities are found, further testing, such as a biopsy, may be recommended.

Prevention and Reducing Risk

While not all instances of oral malignant growth can be forestalled, there are several steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk:

  • Avoid Tobacco: Quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco use is the single most important step you can take.
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption: Moderate your alcohol intake or consider abstaining altogether.
  • Protect Your Lips: Safeguard your lips by using a lip balm with SPF and limiting exposure to the sun.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: An eating routine rich in foods grown from the ground can reduce your risk of oral cancer.
  • Get Vaccinated Against HPV: Vaccines are available that can protect against the strains of HPV most associated with cancer.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist in Gilbert regularly for oral cancer screenings.


Oral cancer awareness, risk factor recognition, symptom identification, and early detection are critical components in the fight against this disease. Smiles of Gilbert Dentistry is committed to educating our patients and the wider community on the significance of oral well-being corresponding to general prosperity. We encourage everyone to adopt preventive measures, be vigilant about changes in their oral health, and consult a dentist near you for regular screenings. Together, we can work towards early detection and prevention of oral cancer, paving the way for healthier lives.