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The burden of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is increasing globally with 600,000new cases being reported annually. A great proportion of these are oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) which are preceded by oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs). The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of OPMDs among adult Malaysian dental patients with and without risk habits. The objectives of this study were i) to determine the prevalence of OPMDs among dental patients who were tobacco smokers ii) to determine the prevalence of OPMDs among dental patients who were alcohol users iii) to determine the prevalence of OPMDs among dental patients without any risk habits iv) to determine the awareness on oral cancer among dental patients with and without risk habits. Materials and methods: This was a cross sectional observational study, carried out at Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya. A conventional oral examination was conducted by two investigators who were trained and calibrated prior to the survey. Participants were administered a questionnaire that was pre-tested in a previous study. 83 subjects were recruited into the study. Leukoplakia was the only OPMD detected in our study with a prevalence of 10.8%. All patients diagnosed with leukoplakia were males (P < 0.05). A significant association between the prevalence of OPMDs and risk habits was found. There was a general lack of awareness among smokers regarding alcohol as an aetiological agent for oral cancer. A significant proportion of subjects who smoked were unaware of early signs of oral cancer.