What Is Oral Cancer?

What Is Oral Cancer?

Posted by STONEGATE FAMILY DENTISTRY on Mar 25 2022, 04:12 AM

What Is Oral Cancer?

According to the National Institute of Health, around 53,000 new cases of oral cancer are reported in the US every year.

People above the age of 40 are the ones most affected and men are at a double risk of getting this life-threatening disease.

Dr. Rachel Erwin, along with her team of dental experts at Stonegate Family Dentistry in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, discusses oral cancer and the ways to prevent it in this blog.

Oral Cancer and Contributing Factors

Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer or oral cavity cancer, refers to any cancerous growth that develops in the oral cavity or oral tissues. This includes the lips, tongue, gums, lining of the cheeks and lips, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palates, and the throat (pharynx). Oral cancer can occur in any part of the oral cavity and may manifest as a lump, sore, lesion, or abnormal growth that does not heal or resolve on its own.

The most common causal factors of oral cancer are: 

  • Tobacco consumption
  • Liquor consumption
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, especially HPV 16 type
  • Aging
  • Ultraviolet-mediated damage leads to lip cancer

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Although there are not many definite symptoms in the initial stages, if you notice one or more of the below symptoms for more than 2 weeks, consult your dentist in Murfreesboro TN or physician for clarification:

  • Sore throat or a lump-like feeling that causes difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty chewing food and speaking, moving your tongue, etc.
  • A whitish or reddish patch in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Swollen gums or jaws that make dentures ill-fitted or problematic
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the tongue or in the other areas inside your mouth
  • Mild or severe ear pain


Oral cancer spreads quickly, but an early diagnosis can help save your life. Your dentist in 37129 will usually perform an examination as part of your routine dental checkup. However, if you notice any of the above symptoms, schedule a visit as soon as possible.

The examination for oral cancer is completely pain-free. Your dentist will examine your entire mouth (including the face, neck, and lips) for probable signs of oral cancer. Call us to learn more.

Prevention Methods

A lot of dental health issues including oral cancer can be prevented with adequate measures such as:

  • Stop tobacco use in the form of cigarettes, hookahs, and chewable tobacco products
  • Limit your alcohol intake 
  • Avoid excessive solar exposure and apply sunscreen on your face (minimum SPF 30) and SPF lip balm
  • Hydration is important
  • Be regular with dental checkups

Treatment for oral cancer depends on factors such as the location, stage, and extent of the cancer, as well as the patient's overall health and preferences. Treatment options may include surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be recommended.

Overall, oral cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment. By understanding the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of oral cancer, individuals can take proactive steps to reduce their risk and seek timely medical attention if any concerning symptoms arise.

To learn more about oral cancer and its effects on your body, call Stonegate Family Dentistry at (615) 624-6919 to book an appointment. You can also visit us at 206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.

Share On

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.


206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Phone: (615) 624-6919

Office Hours

MON - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: info@stonegatefamilydentistry.com

Call or Text Us: (615) 624-6919