Oral cancer is a serious and fatal disease that affects millions of people. The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that someone in the United States dies every hour from oral cancer, but it can often be cured if diagnosed and treated early. It occurs most often in people over the age of 40 .
The biggest risk factors are tobacco and alcohol use, including chewing tobacco. HPV, a sexually transmitted wart virus, also increases your risk .
Symptoms of mouth or throat cancer include sores, bumps, or rough areas in the mouth. You may also have a change in bite and find it difficult to chew or move your tongue or jaw.
Regular visits to the dentist can help in the early detection of oral cancer. You can ask your dentist if oral cancer screening is part of your routine checkup.
If you notice any symptoms of oral cancer or have trouble chewing, swallowing, or moving your tongue or jaw, see your dentist.