Introduction: Worldwide, oral cavity is the sixth leading site for oral cancer among men. Majority of oral squamous cell carcinoma evolve from Potentially malignant oral disorders (PMODs), accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of potentially malignant oral disorders arrest the malignant transformation.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey with an interviewer administered questionnaire was conducted. Subjects above the age 26 years (n=100) were randomly selected, and the questionnaires were administered by the interviewer while they were attending oral health promotion program at district training center, Chitradurga.
Results: Results showed alarming lack of awareness and knowledge for potentially malignant oral disorders based on the evaluation of the questionnaires and clinical presentation of potentially malignant oral disorders.
Conclusion: In India majority of the oral cancers develop due to deleterious habits, tobacco chewing/smoking/alcohol consumption. Lack of awareness and knowledge of clinical presentation (signs and symptoms) of potentially malignant oral disorders amongst medical health officers/general practitioners and even general population is believed to be responsible for the diagnostic delay of these entities. Therefore educating medical health officers by the dentist level of knowledge about oral health promotion improves survival by reducing morbidity rate and disfigurement.
Keywords: Potentially malignant oral disorders, Oral cancer, Cancer, Oral health promotion, Health officers