Oral Cancer Symptoms and How to Avoid It
Oral Health Blog

Oral Cancer Symptoms and How to Avoid It

Oral cancer is the type of cancer that resides inside the mouth. You will begin to feel sore not just on your tongue but also on your lips, inside cheeks, sinuses, floor of the mouth, palates, or worse in your throat. This usually happens to older people 60 and up but not also rare to people younger than 60. At first, it may look like you have a normal canker sore but when it becomes contagious, these canker sore will not go away on its own after 2 weeks, which indicates that you have oral cancer. 

Although it is a cancer which people assume leads to death, oral cancer can be treated when caught early by a doctor. The only problem is that people will not be able to spot this early because they often neglect the chance to visit a doctor and even a dentist to have their mouth checked. These professionals know better when it comes to oral cancer symptoms that's why it is a must to have early diagnosis.

Before you book a schedule with your dentist, check the symptoms of oral cancer below!

Oral Cancer Symptoms

  1. Persistent Mouth Sore

Mouth sore usually happens when you accidentally bite your tongue or it could be due to some medication as well bacterial infection inside the mouth. Although it gives you pain and discomfort when you eat or talk, they will heal for 2 weeks or less if you are under medication. There are actually a lot of home remedies for canker sore that are cheap and very easy to find at home. 

However, when these mouth sores won't go away and become persistent on coming back to your mouth, it could be due to oral cancer. You can usually get a sore under your tongue when you have oral cancer. 

  1. Difficulty Chewing and Speaking

When redness and white spots start in your mouth, your eating and speaking capacity will be very much affected. The reason for this is that the discomfort you feel from the wounds or even tumor will make it impossible for you to even open your mouth and do the usual routine. People with oral cancer will even withdraw from their normal life, thinking they are indifferent to others. 

  1. Earache

An earache could be caused by tooth pain but when it's unbearable and won't go away after taking a lot of medication, it is one of the oral cancer symptoms. Yes, your ear will be affected because the tumor will cause jaw pain connecting your ears. Aside from the fact that it's painful, you will also feel like your ear is ringing or clogged. 

  1. Chronic Bad Breath

No matter how you brush your teeth, when you already have oral cancer it is hard to make the bad smell go away because of the tumor, sores, and other wounds that may occur inside your mouth. 

  1. Change in Voice

It is normal for your voice to change especially during adulthood or when you have a sore throat. However, if the hoarseness won't go away within 2 weeks, you have to see your doctor right away. Change in voice could mean your vocal chords are affected by oral cancer.

  1. Weight Loss

As stated above, people with oral cancer symptoms will have difficulty eating leading to weight moss. This is due to the painful mouth sores that also bleeds, making the person diagnosed lose appetite to different food. 

 How to Avoid Oral Cancer?

  1. Stop Smoking

If you are a smoker, it is time for you to quit. The risk of oral cancer in smokers has been widely disseminated all around the world to let everyone know how exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes are very dangerous to your health. 

  1. Too Much Sun Exposure

Just like your skin, when your lips are exposed to sun too much, it will be harmful. This is due to ultraviolet radiation that causes oral cancer that may start on your lips.  Wear a sunscreen lip product instead when you go to the beach or when you know you'll be under the sun for long hours.

  1. Less Alcohol Consumption

Did you know that some alcohol ingredients can irritate the cells inside the mouth, leading to oral cancer. You don't necessarily need to stop drinking alcohol but you need to drink less, one drink a day is enough if you don't want to overdo it.

  1. Invest On Water Flosser

As part of your dental routine, you need to invest in a device that helps you floss your teeth. Especially if you find it hard to floss your teeth using string floss, the bacteria you feed when the food is stuck in between in your teeth will cause infection that may get worse leading to oral cancer. 

When you have a portable water flosser it doesn't matter if you don't or you have oral cancer already, you can conveniently still floss your teeth. With the use of streaming water, each tooth will be cleaned thoroughly washing away all bacteria causing infection.

Steps in Using Water Flosser

  1. Fill the reservoir with warm water before placing it on the base.
  2. Water flossers come with different tips so choose the one that you favored the most. 
  3. Click the tip into the handle.
  4. Turn on the water flosser and set the control dial too high to let the water flow. (The next time you will use it, you can set the control dial to any type of pressure you want.)
  5. In a sink, you have to lean over so that the water won’t stream down to your clothes.
  6. Place the tip at the gumline and let the water flow to clean each tooth. 
  7. Move it from one gum to another.
  8. Once you have finished flossing your teeth, turn the water flosser off and remove the tip.


Oral cancer is a serious illness and needs tedious treatment with a health professional. You can avoid it by following the tips mentioned above and visiting your dentist twice a year. Always remember that even with this type of illness, you don't have to go through it alone so seek help. 



The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.