Oral Cancer: Its Risk Factors and Common Symptoms

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We all do have an idea of how dangerous cancer is. Cancer does not only develop in blood, skin, and other areas of the body, but it also develops in our mouth and throat. Regular check-ups and oral cancer screening help in monitoring and detecting if the patient has the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. 

Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth and throat. Oral cancer is often seen as sore or growth in the mouth that does not go away. If oral cancer is not treated or detected early, it may be life-threatening. Oral cancer includes cancer of the lips, hard and soft palate, tongue, sinuses, pharynx, the floor of the mouth, and cheeks.

dental checkup

Risk factors

The following may worsen or increase the risk of the development of cancer. 

  • Smoking and usage of tobacco. The risk of oral cancer is increased if this act is not stopped. Some studies also show that second-hand smoke may also increase the risk of oral cancer.
  • Heavy alcohol use. Consumption of alcohol and smoking of tobacco, when combined, increases the risk of having oral cancer more than using either one of it.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV). This sexually transmitted virus is associated with oral cancer. Typically, those persons carrying with HPV-positive cancer tend to be younger and non-smokers.
  • Unhealthy diet. Consuming fruits and vegetables not rich in vitamins and minerals is one of the factors that increase the risk of oral cancer. 
  • Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Too much exposure from the sun and sunbeds is the leading cause of skin cancer. Skin cancer can develop on your lip due to too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation.


Common symptoms of oral cancer

  • Soreness and irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Pain in your ear that won’t go away
  • White or red patches found in your mouth and lips
  • Numbness in your lip, face, neck or chin
  • Pain when swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue and jaw
  • A lump or bump, swelling, rough spots found on your gums, lips and other areas of the mouth
  • Bleeding of the mouth


It is essential to know and be aware of the possible risk factors that are associated with oral cancer. If you suspect that you have oral cancer, please do not hesitate to seek professional help. Having to detect and be diagnosed as early as possible is way much better than waiting for the disease to spread throughout your body.


You deserve outstanding dental care services. We provide Regular Checkups in Spring, Texas. Book your appointment with us at Dental Professionals of Spring and let us help you achieve beautiful and healthy teeth.