Oral Cancer Risk Factors | Dentist in Braintree

At Blue Hills Dental Associates, we prioritize your overall health and well-being. During your comprehensive dental examination, our experienced team will diligently look for any signs of oral cancer. Early detection is crucial, as it significantly improves the treatability of most oral cancers. Our team is thoroughly trained and educated to identify early signs of oral cancer, providing you with the best care possible.

While everyone is at risk for oral cancer, certain factors can increase that risk. Here are the top seven risk factors for oral cancer:


Are you in your mid-40s or older? The risk of developing oral cancer increases with age. Studies show a significant rise in cases among people in their 40s and beyond. The majority of diagnoses occur around age 62, but due to the increasing prevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cases, more people are being diagnosed between the ages of 52 and 56. Regular oral cancer screenings at Blue Hills Dental Associates are vital at any age to catch potential issues early.


Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, partly due to higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use. However, this gender gap is narrowing as more women engage in these behaviors. Recent trends also show a rise in HPV-related oral cancer cases among younger men. Regardless of gender, regular oral health examinations are essential for early detection of oral cancer.

Tobacco Use

Smoking or chewing tobacco significantly increases your risk of oral cancer, affecting the mouth, throat, cheeks, gums, and inner lips. The risk depends on the duration and frequency of use. Even if you don’t use tobacco, regular dental examinations at our Braintree office are crucial for early detection and prevention.

Alcohol Consumption

Approximately 70% of oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. The CDC defines heavy drinking as two or more drinks per day for men and one or more drinks per day for women. Heavy drinkers are more than twice as likely to develop oral cancers compared to non-drinkers. However, oral cancer can still occur in non-drinkers, making regular check-ups essential for everyone.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is linked to at least 10,000 cases of oral cancer annually in the United States. Individuals with HPV-related oral cancers are typically younger and often do not smoke or drink. These cancers usually have a lower risk of death or recurrence. Regular visits to Blue Hills Dental Associates can help monitor and manage any risks associated with HPV.

Sunlight Exposure

Extended exposure to sunlight increases the risk of lip cancer. Using UV-protective lip balm and taking other precautions when spending time outdoors is crucial. If you work outside frequently, it’s important to schedule additional examinations with our dental team.


A poor diet, especially one low in fruits and vegetables, can elevate your risk of oral cancer. However, even those with a healthy diet are not immune. Regular comprehensive oral examinations at our Braintree office are important for everyone, regardless of dietary habits.

Oral cancer does not discriminate. These seven factors can increase your risk, but regular dental examinations are essential for everyone to detect and treat oral cancer early. Contact Blue Hills Dental Associates to schedule your comprehensive oral examination today. We are here to ensure your continued health and well-being.

Blue Hills Dental Associates of Braintree
Email: info@bluehillsdmd.com
Phone: 781-356-2882
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340 Wood Road Suite 288
Braintree, MA 02184

Blue Hills Dental Associates