- Oral cancer often occurs on the tongue, gums, floor of the mouth and tonsils. The major risk factor for oral cancer is smoking and tobacco use. The combination of heavy alcohol consumption with tobacco use makes the development of oral cancer 15 times more likely than those who abstain from tobacco use.
- Age is also a risk factor. People over 40 are more likely to have oral cancer. The fastest growing segment of population that is being diagnosed with oral cancer are nonsmokers under the age of 50.
- The human papilloma virus or HPV has also been known to cause certain types of oral cancer. The risk is not as high as others though as out of 200 strands tested only 9 are risky.
Oral cancer is hard to detect in early stages as the mouth is very sensitive. White or red patches in your mouth or small ulcers like canker sores are early signs that one should take note of. An abrasion in your mouth that does not heal within 14 days then it is time to see a dentist.