Mouth cancer, or oral cancer, can occur anywhere in the mouth, on the surface of the tongue, the lips, inside the cheek, in the gums, in the roof and floor of the mouth, in the tonsils, and in the salivary glands.

It is a type of head and neck cancer and is often treated similarly to other head and neck cancers.

Mouth cancer mostly happens after the age of 40, and the risk is more than twice as high in men as it is in women.


In the early stages, there are often no signs or symptoms, but smokers and heavy drinkers should have regular checkups with the dentist, as they may identify early signs.

Signs and symptoms include:

  1. patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue, usually red or red and white in color
  2. mouth ulcers or sores that do not heal
  3. swelling that persists for over 3 weeks
  4. a lump or thickening of the skin or lining of the mouth
  5. pain when swallowing
  6. loose teeth with no apparent reason
  7. poorly fitting dentures
  8. jaw pain or stiffness
  9. a sensation that something is stuck in the throat
  10. painful tongue
  11. pain in the neck or ear that does not go away