Identifying oral cancer causes and symptoms is a blind spot for UK adults, new study shows

The Oral Health Foundation conducted a study which shows 33% of Brits are oblivious to the fact that smoking causes oral cancer.

Alcohol can contribute to the disease too, something which 57% of adults are not aware of.

“Our awareness of mouth cancer remains staggering low….”


“Education about mouth cancer is without doubt the biggest roadblock we face in transforming the landscape of the disease.”


“Both the number of people being diagnosed with mouth cancer, and those losing their life to the disease, can be dramatically improved with more information about the causes and early warning signs.”

Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE

Largest increase in cancer diagnoses

With over 8,300 people in the UK diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2018 alone, early identification of the symptoms is crucial.

The study uncovered that only 36% of Brits recognise oral cancer early warning signs.

Over the last 20 years cases have jumped by 135%, making oral cancer one of the fastest-growing cancers in the country.

“Being Mouthaware is about being able to recognise and act on any changes in our mouth, by regularly examining the mouth and seeking professional help quickly, we can improve our chances of beating the disease.”

Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE

Being Mouthaware is of great importance

Identifying the early signs of oral cancer can greatly improve chances of survival. The Oral Health Foundation is encouraging people to become ‘Mouthaware’ and learning more about oral cancer.

As a disease that can be linked directly to lifestyle, there are many changes that can be made to reduce the number of cases.

“By making a few simple changes to our lifestyle, we can considerably lessen our risk of mouth cancer,’” Dr Carter concludes.


“Cutting down on alcohol, quitting tobacco and eating healthier, will not only reduce our chance developing mouth cancer but will also provide wider benefits to our general health.”

Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE

Claydon Dental is first and foremost a preventative dentistry focused practice, with a passion for arming our patients with the knowledge and knowhow to maintain their oral health before issues can take root.

When asked about the raise in oral cancer diagnoses our lead dentist had this to say:t

“We are always encouraging our patients to maintain their oral health. One of the main pieces of advice we can offer is to quit smoking, one of the major contributing factors in oral cancer cases.


Regular check-ups and dental hygiene appointments are a great way to stay on top of any early warning signs, but being aware of the condition of your gums, and your mouth in general, can help you to identify issues while they can still be addressed.”

Dr Jose Antonio Victoria Ortega, Claydon Dental Dentist, Lic. Odont. Madrid

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