How Can I Reduce My Risk of Oral Cancer Blog Cover Image

Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, can occur anywhere in the oral cavity – including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat). Although it’s a serious condition, understanding the risk factors and taking steps to mitigate them can significantly reduce your risk. Here, we’ll discuss what oral cancer is, its risk factors, and the steps you can take to minimise your risk.

Understanding Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer and is often treated similarly to other forms of cancers. It starts in the cells of the mouth, tongue or throat. Oral cancer cells can then grow and spread into nearby areas, such as the jaw or neck, or via the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the body.

Early detection is vital, as the survival rate for oral cancer is significantly higher when caught early. Regular check-ups with your dentist, who will perform an oral cancer screening, can help catch this disease in its earliest stages.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer:

Tobacco Use:

All forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff, among others, increase the oral cancer risk.

Alcohol Consumption:

Those who consume alcohol heavily (more than four drinks daily) have a higher chance of oral cancer.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV):

Certain types of HPV, a sexually transmitted infection, can cause oral cancer.

Sun Exposure:

Exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk of cancer on the lips.


A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables may increase the chances of oral cancer.


Most oral cancers occur in people over the age of 40.


Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer compared to women.

Top 7 Ways To Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer

While you can’t control all risk factors, such as age and gender, there are several proactive steps you can take to lower your risk of oral cancer:

1. Quit Tobacco:

If you use tobacco in any form, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. Both tobacco and alcohol increase your oral cancer chances, and using them together increases this risk even further.

2. Limit Alcohol:

Moderate to heavy drinkers are more likely to develop oral cancer. Limit your alcohol intake to reduce your risk.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet:

Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can lower your chance of oral cancer. These foods are rich in antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage that can lead to cancer.

4. Protect Yourself from the Sun:

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, protect your lips. You can use a lip balm with an SPF rating of at least 15, and wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face, including your mouth.

5. Practice Safe Sex:

HPV is a risk factor for oral cancer, and it’s predominantly transmitted through sexual contact. You can reduce your risk of HPV infection by practicing safe sex.

6. Regular Dental Check-ups:

Regular visits to your dentist can help detect signs of oral cancer early. The Australian Dental Association recommends dental check-ups at intervals determined by your dentist. These visits usually include a full mouth and throat examination to screen for oral cancer.

7. HPV Vaccination:

The HPV vaccine can protect against the types of HPV most likely to cause oral and other cancers.


In conclusion, while oral cancer is a serious condition, understanding the risk factors and taking preventative measures can reduce the risk of oral cancer.


If you are looking for any dental consultation or best dental services in Brisbane, look no further than Dentists in Annerley. Our experienced team provides top-notch care and personalized treatments to ensure your oral health is in great hands.

Our all-in-one dental clinic offers everything you need for optimal dental health, including emergency dentists, dental check-up and cleaning in Brisbane, and much more.

Take advantage of our new customer offer today and enjoy a comprehensive exam, unlimited x-rays, full treatment plan, oral health instructions and demonstration, scale and clean, polish, fluoride treatment, and a complimentary gift bag full of goodies – all for just $159 (valued at $770)!

Latest Posts

Dental Crown Guide: When Is It Needed And What Are Its Advantages?

Dental Crown Guide: When Is It Needed And What Are Its Advantages?

Introduction to Dental Crowns Dental crowns are a critical aspect of dental health, offering both functional and aesthetic benefits. They are essentially caps or covers, custom-made to…

Why Do I Need to Floss and What Is the Best Way to Floss My Teeth?

Why Do I Need to Floss and What Is the Best Way to Floss My Teeth?

Flossing is an integral part of dental hygiene, playing a critical role in maintaining oral health. Here’s everything you need to know about the best ways to…

Why Do I Need Fillings If I Have No Pain?

Why Do I Need Fillings If I Have No Pain?

Understanding Dental Fillings Dental fillings are a common dental procedure designed to restore the integrity and function of a tooth compromised by decay or damage. When decay…

Why Do I Need To Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

Why Do I Need To Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

Definition and Emergence Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are typically the last set of teeth to develop and emerge in the mouth. These teeth usually make their…

The Best Ways to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

The Best Ways to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

Introduction to Child Dental Care The foundation of child dental care is early and consistent attention to oral hygiene, which includes regular dental check-ups, appropriate oral hygiene…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *