Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, accounting for nearly 5 percent of all cancer diagnoses.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 49,750 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017. Each day, mouth cancers will be newly diagnosed in about 132 individuals in the United States. One person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day.

A recent and rapid rise in cases of oropharyngeal cancer has been linked to infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because it can go unnoticed in its preliminary stages. In many cases, however, dentists can detect the disease early, which makes the dental community the first line of defense against oral cancer.

To raise awareness of oral cancer, the AGD Foundation will offer free oral cancer screenings, public service announcements and risk factor prevention education during the AGD’s Scientific Session, AGD2017, July 13-15 in Las Vegas.