Oral cancer, Smoking and Alcohol
Oral Cancer is becoming more common with more than 6,000 people in the UK being diagnosed each year. Historically, it affected men over 40 who were smokers, drank alcohol or both. The statistics now show women and people under the age of 40 are being affected more commonly.
There is now research showing that up to 60% of Oral Cancer cases may be caused by the same virus that is linked to Cervical Cancer- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV-16). There is even evidence that younger people with good oral health and no history of smoking or drinking are being affected.
In the UK, Oral Cancer kills more people than Cervical and Testicular Cancer combined.
Regular Dental Examinations can allow us to pick up early signs of this fatal disease and get you the treatment that you need.
If you are concerned about anything unusual in your mouth e.g non-healing ulcers and red or white patches, please inform your dentist immediately.
Tobacco contains chemicals which stain, dry and irritate the teeth and mouth causing bad breath, gum disease and cancers.
People who use NHS support are up to four times more likely to stop smoking than those who try to stop alone. For information visit
Alcohol can cause a lot of problems in the mouth and alcoholic drinks or non alcoholic mixers will affect teeth because of the high sugar content. Alcohol also contributes to oral cancer. Getting very drunk may cause further damage to your teeth if you fall over and hit your face. Enjoy alcohol sensibly and follow these tips to help protect your teeth:
Use a straw
Choose sugar free mixers
Chew sugar free chewing gum to dilute the acidic sugars
Do not drink alcohol to excess and stay safe.