Causes of mouth cancer

Who is more likely to get mouth cancer

It's not always clear what causes mouth cancer.

You may be more likely to get mouth cancer if:

Mouth cancer has also been linked to having changes in your genes and having some types of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in your mouth.

How to lower your risk of mouth cancer

You cannot always prevent mouth cancer, but there are things you can do to lower your chance of getting it.


  • eat a healthy diet, including 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day

  • exercise regularly

  • try to cut down on alcohol and avoid drinking more than 14 units a week

  • try to quit smoking

  • try to quit chewing tobacco, betel nut or paan


It's important to get any symptoms of mouth cancer checked by a doctor or dentist.

Page last reviewed: 19 June 2023
Next review due: 19 June 2026