Oral Cancer Awareness Month

November is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Oral cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancer cases in the United States each year.ย 

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is an umbrella term for several cancers that affect the mouth and throat. This includes cancer of the tongue, lips, gums, and floor and roof of the mouth.ย 

The Causes of Oral Cancer

Cancers of the oral cavity and throat can occur without any identifiable cause but they are most often linked to the following:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • HPV infection
  • Frequent sunburns or sun exposure
  • Genetics

While oral cancer can be diagnosed at any age most cases of oral cancer are found in patients over the age of 50.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

Oral cancer causes a variety of symptoms that affect the mouth, throat, and lips. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Lumps on the lips or gums
  • Rough spots in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips or gums
  • Unexplained bleeding in or on the mouth
  • Numbness
  • Red or white spots
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, schedule an examination with your dentist as soon as possible. A complete dental evaluation can determine whether your symptoms are cause for concern or due to another underlying oral issue.

Preventing Oral Cancer

Preventing oral cancer relies heavily on the avoidance of risk factors and early detection. To reduce your chances of being diagnosed with oral cancer, you should avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and unprotected sun exposure. If you are concerned about potential symptoms of oral cancer, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

Early detection is essential for a good prognosis when diagnosed with oral cancer. David W. Piper, DMD, Family Dentistry, can help diagnose and treat oral cancer. We provide a wide range of dental services for patients throughout Largo, FL. Contact us online or by phone at 727-548-7100 to schedule an appointment.


I've been a patient of Dr. Piper's for the last 19 years so it's very obvious that I've been a very very satisfied patient. I had an excellent full check-up today with x-rays and everything was perfect. Perfect because I've been going consistently and following their experts on dental care, cleaning and good health! Bravo ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘
Deborah M.

Dr. Piper and staff are always very professional, I have been a patient for over 15 years, and happy about it. Just got my teeth cleaned and checked recently, Sandra is friendly and thorough, and the office felt very clean which is important.
Tom T.

Staff were fast and attentive, didn't wait long before I saw Dr. Piper. The office is clean and organized. Was a great decision to use this practice and will be visiting again. Not a single issue. Cannot recommend enough.
Ted M.

Thank you Sandra, for my teeth cleaning....I had a great experience, I do love getting my teeth cleaned! Piper Family Dentistry rocks...๐Ÿ˜.
Deborah W.
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