top of page

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

A 5 minute oral cancer screening at your dentist CAN save a life.

Oral cancer Screenings save lives: Do you know that each day 100 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and one person every hour of every day will die from it? In addition, an increase in new cases has occurred among populations such as nonsmoking men and women under 50 years old who have not typically been at risk in the past.

Updated research has surfaced in the last five years that provides compelling evidence for certain variants of the human papillomavirus (HPV) as a causative agent, joining tobacco, alcohol, sun exposure, and diet as the risk factors associated with new oral cancer cases. A 5 minute oral cancer screening CAN save a life.

Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth. It can occur on the lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, roof of the mouth, or floor of the mouth. Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in men and the 12th most common cancer in women. It is estimated that about 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States in 2023.

video of a patient whose life was saved, and this is what makes our profession at Oxford Dental so rewarding.

The good news is that oral cancer is highly treatable if it is detected early. However, many people do not get screened for oral cancer, which means that the cancer is often not diagnosed until it has spread to other parts of the body. This makes it much more difficult to treat and can lead to a poorer prognosis.

There are a number of risk factors for oral cancer, including:

· Smoking

· Alcohol use

· Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

· Sun exposure

· Poor oral hygiene

· Family history of oral cancer

HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer has risen over the past two decades, while oral cancer linked to tobacco and alcohol use has declined over the same time period, said James Mancini, D.M.D., ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention chair.

If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to talk to your dentist about oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screening is a simple procedure that can be performed during your regular dental checkup. Our Dentists will examine your mouth for any signs of cancer, such as:

· White or red patches on the lips or tongue

· Sores that do not heal

· Thickening of the gums

· Bleeding gums

· Numbness in the mouth

· Difficulty speaking or swallowing

If your dentist finds any of these signs, they may recommend additional tests, such as a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the mouth and examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells.

If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, the treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer and the location of the tumor. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

The best way to protect yourself from oral cancer is to avoid the risk factors. If you smoke, quit. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. If you have HPV, get vaccinated. And practice good oral hygiene. By taking these steps, you can help reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.

If you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer, call us to set up a complimentary consultation at (662)234-5222 or visit our website at

bottom of page