A brief revision of the epidemiological profile of oral cancer was carried out, as well as an analysis of pertinent literature of its risk and prevention factors. According to World Health Organization (WHO), oral cancer corresponds to, approximately, 6% of all the diagnosised cancers. In Brazil, according to INCA, in 2006, the incidence of oral cancer is esteem around 3% of the total of new cases of cancer, consisting in the seventh anatomical localization of neoplasms in men and the nineth in women. Approximately 3% to 5% of cancer cases, according to statistical data, will die soon after the diagnosis of the illness. Moreover, in approximately 30% of the cases, the survival tax does not exceed five years. The main risk factors in the development of neoplasms are the tobacco, the alcohol and the multiplicative effect observed in the association of both. Moreover, virus infections, nutritional deficiencies and the hereditary component of mutations in specific genes consist of relevant factors in the neoplastic transformations. On the other hand, elements found in the diet and healthful habits like adequate hygiene and alimentation, practice of physical exercises and secure sexual practices are considered factors of protection against oral cancer that, when associated to governmental actions as campaigns to reduce the tobaccoism and alcoholism, beyond the precocious detention and treatment of these injuries would make possible the reduction of the indices of death by neoplasms.