Oral Cancer – Why neglecting could affect your overall health?

Oral Cancer

April is Oral cancer awareness month

Oral cancer awareness worldwide is very low. This year nation is observing “ 19 th Annual Oral Cancer Awareness Month’’. Every day new people are diagnosed with Oral cancer and this occurs due to less awareness, improper screening, and neglecting the oral cavity and oral health issues for long.

April is Oral cancer awareness month in which dental professionals join with medical health professionals and bring awareness regarding oral cancer, causes involved, and how to prevent the oral cavity from cancers.

The key to preventing oral cancers 

If detected on time, oral cancers can be treated effectively. Dental health professionals can diagnose the signs and symptoms and could prevent you and treat your cancer effectively if you visit them on time. Early detection is still the best way to lower the risk and prevent oral cancers.

This April, make detection and prevention of your oral cavity too a major priority of your life. Regular Oral health examination done by your healthcare professional is the best method to prevent you from oral cancer or to treat you effectively during its initial and early stages.

The major risk factors are always thought to be smoking and chewable tobacco products however persistent HPV virus is also connected with an increase in young patients who are not even using tobacco and tobacco products.

The major cause of concern is a lack of awareness about how neglecting oral health and oral cavity can lead to the development of oral cancers in due course of time.

Oral cancer also called Oral Cavity cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. It can develop in any part of the oral cavity and require proper diagnosis and treatment. It is more common in men than women. Though it is common worldwide, most cases are seen in developing countries like India, Pakistan.

According to statistics on the worldwide occurrence of oral cancers it is observed that this type of cancer is dangerous since it goes unnoticed during its initial stages, may prosper without any pain and swelling as well as due to neglecting attitude of people in terms of the oral cavity it may get diagnosed quite late.

According to pre-reviewed researches, it is observed Human papillomavirus version 16 is the etiology associated with oral cancer. However, the people who chew or smoke tobacco in any form ( smoked or smokeless ) are at higher risk of developing oral cancers.

Looking at oral cancer according to gender perspective, oral cancer is affecting 6 men for every woman. However, this ratio is changed to 2 men for every woman. However, they’re no published studies to prove this but it is concluded due to lifestyle changes that also include the increase in the number of women using tobacco products over the last few decades this change is observed.

This article would help you to know about the detailed information regarding Oral cancers, How to prevent them, and how neglecting them could affect your overall health status.

Risk factors 

One must always be informed about the cause of Oral cancer to take precautions and prevention for the same. The major risk factors include Tobacco use in any form smoke or smokeless, heavy alcohol use,  persistent viral infection. Few other factors such as the immune system, age sometimes also contribute to the development of oral cancers.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus ) increases the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers. It is the most common cause of cancer of the tongue and tonsils. However, good immunity clears up the virus in most people, but in few cases due to lack of immunity the virus is not cleared up thus leading to oropharyngeal cancer.

Symptoms – “ Check your mouth ”

Check your mouth is the self-discovery initiative in which people are urged to self-check the signs and symptoms of oral cancers, to regularize their dental visits on time if the signs and symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks.


If you are on tobacco products, using excessive alcohol then look up the following symptoms and consult your dental health professional on time.

Signs and symptoms could be observed as –

Ø  Ulcers not healing even after 2 weeks.

Ø  Discoloration on gums, buccal mucosa, or other soft tissues that may vary from red, white to black.

Ø  Lump on the tongue.

Ø  Ulcers underneath the dentures not healing for long.

Ø  Abnormal growth on any area of the oral cavity.

Ø  Unexplained bleeding from gums or any other area of the mouth

Ø  Difficulty in movement of jaws

Ø  Restricted mouth opening

Ø  Difficulty in chewing and speaking

Ø  Unexplained weight loss

Oropharyngeal cancer symptoms persist for a long and may show these symptoms.

Ø  Hoarseness of voice

Ø  Sore throat

Ø  A painless lump felt on the neck.

Ø  Pain and difficulty in swallowing

If you are facing any of these symptoms, or other symptoms that are persistent and not resolving within 14 days, visit your dental health professional as soon as possible.

Types of oral cancer –

Oral cancers include cancers of –

Cancer of tongue

Cancer of Lip

Cancer of cheek area(inner )

Cancer of gums

Cancer of base of tongue and floor of the mouth

Cancer of hard palate

Cancer of soft palate

Cancer of throat

Early diagnosis is the key to prevention


Oral cancer screening is mandatory and is a part of a regular dental visit. If your dental health professional would come through any abnormality in your oral cavity during your regular dental visit, he or she would try to find the diagnosis for the same as early as possible.

Your Dentist would look up for any signs and symptoms you are suffering from concerning your oral cavity, would look up for any abnormal changes concerning color, discolorations, would look up for any lump, swelling, or ulcers.

In case something suspicious is found, a biopsy is recommended to confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the problem, the type of biopsy required is decided by your dental health professional.

Early diagnosis and screening is the best way to treat oral cancer on time and this is achieved only by proper awareness among the people.


Depending on the requirement, oral cancers are treated by Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, and Surgery along with that Drug therapy is started as needed.


Prevention is the key to prevent not only oral cancers but every type of cancer.

The following prevention is required to decrease the chances of oral cancers.

Ø  Avoid tobacco ( smokeless, smoking )

Ø  Avoid alcohol consumption

Ø  Avoid the combination of excessive use of alcohol and smoking tobacco together

Ø  Drink plenty of water

Ø  Eat fresh and seasonal fruits daily

Ø  Increase intake of green leafy vegetables.

Ø  Protect yourself from the Ultra violet rays of the sun. Always use sunscreen lotion before going out in sun.

Ø  Conduct ‘ Self Assessment ‘ on regular basis. Try to assess your tongue, lips, gums in the mirror in the proper light. Lookup for ulcers not healing even after 14 days. Feel any lump in the throat. If you feel any abnormal changes schedule your dental visit as soon as possible.

Ø  Be aware of risk factors, symptoms, and ways to prevent the oral cavity from oral cancers.

Ø  Schedule your dental visit at least once in 6 months if possible at least once in 3 months for proper examination and assessment of oral cavity by a dentist.

Ø  If you feel your immunity is less and you are above 40 keep your dental visits regular and ask your dentist to perform your detailed dental health examination.

Why oral cancers are neglected?

Poor oral hygiene and lack of awareness regarding maintaining of oral cavity affect the mouth and overall health of an individual. According to the American Dental Association, most people know neglecting oral health and poor oral hygiene can affect the mouth leading to caries, tooth loss.

But people are unaware how neglecting oral health not only affects the teeth, gums but could also lead to more serious complications that are life-threatening too.

Lack of awareness is the most common because of which oral cancers are neglected and detected and treated at the stage when they become untreatable and noncurable ultimately leading to death too.

Neglected oral health  and its association with deranged overall health

Neglecting oral cavity, poor oral hygiene not only affects the oral cavity but could also lead to serious complications in major body organs thus affecting the overall health of the individual.


Multiple types of research show poorly controlled periodontal health are associated with coronary heart disease too sometimes. Bacteria may enter the bloodstream through gums thus inducing clotting. Clotting would lead to health issues that may even cause a heart attack.


Poor oral hygiene and uncontrolled diabetes could lead to infections. To fight infections blood sugar is raised thus making diabetes harder to control.


A journal of periodontology also discovered an association between gum disease and the risk of development of acute bronchitis. Bacteria from gums travel to the lungs and can worsen lung health.

On the final note, I would like to conclude, Oral health possesses the ability to affect overall health. Oral health and overall health have some connection.

The signs and symptoms often go unnoticed due to lack of awareness thus one must always be aware of the oral health and ensure to care for it and consult a dental health professional as soon as possible if they find anything abnormal and suspicious.

Take a pledge for –

Ø  Brushing your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.

Ø  Avoid tobacco in any form.

Ø  Avoid binging alcohol.

Ø  Hydrate yourself more often

Ø  Visit your dentist regularly

Ø  Be informed about Oral cancer signs and symptoms.  

In this Oral Cancer Awareness Month, let’s pledge for Oral health. Pledge and bring the change.

For more information about oral cancer , treatment options contact +91-8826883200