Oral cancer is a serious but treatable disease. If oral cancer (which includes tongue, lip, and mouth cancer) is detected early, patients have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. While some people are at a higher risk, oral cancer can affect anyone at any age. Excessive smoking and alcohol use can accelerate the development of oral cancer. It has been found that around 90% of all patients with oral cancer consume tobacco in one way or another.

Disease symptoms include white or red patches and lumps in the mouth or on the lips, as well as loose teeth, an aching jaw, difficulty swallowing, mouth sores that refuse to heal, and unexplained gum bleeding. Because early detection is so crucial, you should visit your dentist or doctor if any of the aforementioned symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks.

If you do get diagnosed with oral cancer, surgery is often needed which is usually then followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Ultimately the best defence is to prevention. Proper oral health care routines go a long way in maintaining a healthy mouth as well as regular checkups with your dentist who screens for oral cancer with every visit.