A Review of Oral Cancer Risk Factors by Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia | Dentist Near Me

At Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia, we understand that early detection of oral cancer significantly enhances the chances of successful treatment. Our skilled dental team is proficient in identifying oral cancer at its earliest stages, ensuring the best possible outcomes for our patients. Regardless of age, everyone can be susceptible to oral cancer, although some individuals are at higher risk than others. Below are the top seven risk factors for oral cancer:


Are you in your forties or older? As you age, your likelihood of developing oral cancer increases. Most cases are diagnosed in individuals around the age of 62, though the average age is gradually decreasing due to rising cases linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly among those aged 52 to 56. Given this trend, regular screenings for oral cancer are essential for individuals of all ages.


Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, often due to higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use. However, the gap is narrowing as more women engage in these behaviors. Additionally, younger men are increasingly diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. It is crucial for both men and women to undergo regular oral health examinations to ensure early detection.


Using tobacco products, whether through smoking or chewing, significantly raises your risk of developing oral cancer. These products can lead to cancers of the lips, cheeks, gums, and throat, with risk levels correlating to the frequency and duration of use. Even non-smokers should not ignore the importance of regular oral cancer screenings.


Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to about 70% of oral cancer cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heavy drinking is defined as two or more drinks per day for men and one or more drinks per day for women. Heavy drinkers are over twice as likely to develop oral cancer compared to non-drinkers. However, abstainers can still be at risk, emphasizing the need for regular consultations and screenings.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Annually, at least 10,000 oral cancer cases in the United States are attributed to HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection. Typically, those diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancers are younger and do not have histories of smoking or heavy drinking. Patients with HPV-related oral cancers generally face lower risks of death or recurrence. Regular dental visits are crucial for monitoring and early detection.


Extended exposure to sunlight increases the risk of lip cancer, particularly for individuals who work outdoors. Using UV protection, such as lip balms with UV filters, is essential. If you frequently work outdoors, we recommend scheduling additional examinations to monitor your oral health.


A poor diet can elevate your risk of developing oral cancer. Diets low in fruits and vegetables are particularly concerning. According to the American Dental Association, proper nutrition plays a key role in reducing cancer risk. Regardless of diet, everyone should receive comprehensive oral examinations to detect any signs of cancer early.

Oral cancer does not discriminate. While these seven factors are associated with increased risk, regular dental examinations are vital for early detection and better treatment outcomes, regardless of your age, gender, or lifestyle. At Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia, our team is dedicated to providing thorough screenings and personalized care to catch oral cancer early. Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive oral examination.

Dentist Columbia: Your Partner in Oral Health

For residents in Columbia seeking a reliable dentist, Diamond Dental Studio is here to support your oral health needs. Early detection and prevention are crucial, and our team is committed to providing the highest standard of care. Reach out to Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia to book your next appointment and ensure your smile remains healthy and cancer-free.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

We Are Here For You

Dr. Julia K. Mikell
Solo Practitioner

3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

(We are easy to find in Forest Acres at the corner of Harrison Rd. and Budon Ct., near the Zesto’s on Forest Drive.)

(803) 738-1114

Providing Dental Care
For Many Communities Including:

Forest Acres, Fort Jackson, Arcadia Lakes, Lake Katherine, Heathwood, Shandon, Rosewood, Downtown Columbia, Earlewood, Cottontown and the University of South Carolina


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Friday: Closed

  • South Carolina State Dental
  • America Dental Association
  • America Dental Association

Dentist in Forest Acres Columbia, SC

See What Our Patients are Saying About Us

Dentist in Columbia, SC

“My husband and I had our 1st appointment with Dr. Mikell today and we left there feeling like we absolutely made the right choice! She and her staff were professional, kind, competent, and very respectful to us. We feel like this was a fabulous start to a long and happy relationship!”

Erica R. Columbia, SC Dental Patient

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“Diamond Dental is a good place for your dental care . The staff there is great and friendly. I have recommended my friends there because I trust them with my dental care.”

Caesar A.

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“I really appreciate the staff at Diamond Dental, they're awesome! Dr. Mikell, DDS and Ms. Deborah know me and my kids by name and I feel like where going to visit family and not a dental appointment. We talk and catch up like ole buddies!”

Tabitha M.

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“Dr. Mikell and her staff are the best! I moved ten years ago, but still drive in to town to have her team take care of my smile. They are the nicest people you will ever find!”

Kurt S.

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“Julia and her entire amazing staff are top notch. From routine cleanings to more specific emergency situations, I truly trust this team to take care of me. I am so thankful specifically for their help with a fitted night guard. I sleep better and my teeth are protected! Highly recommend Diamond Dental Studios!”

Sarah S.

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