Mouth Cancer – Causes and Symptoms
Mouth cancer is the cancer of the oral cavity and affects various parts of the mouth such as teeth, lips, tongue, gums, lips, and even the floor and roof of the mouth. According to the American Cancer Society, mouth cancer affected around 49,670 people in the country in 2017 alone.
Causes and risk factors
Mouth cancer develops due to a change in the DNA structure of cells in the mouth or lips. These mutations cause uncontrolled cell divisions in the cells, leading to the formation of a tumor. Alarmingly, a fact is that mouth cancer can easily spread to other parts of the body such as the head and neck. A few common risk factors are smoking and chewing tobacco. It has been observed that drinkers who also are also habitual smokers have 100 times higher chances of developing the mouth cancer. In a few cases, sexually transmitted diseases, weak immunity, and genetic factors can cause mouth cancer too. An environmental factor contributing to mouth cancer is excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun which causes the development of lip cancer, especially in the lower lip.
Several symptoms are early indications of mouth cancer. You can check mouth cancer pictures to get a better idea. A few symptoms have been listed below:
- Thickening of the skin in the oral cavity
- Loose teeth because the tumor in the gums adversely affects the area in which the teeth are fixed
- Soreness in the mouth that has difficulty in healing and bleeds
- Pain and stiffness in the jaw
- Tongue pain
- Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
- Change in voice and continued sore throat
- Ear pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- A chronic pain in the facial region and neck, accompanied by bleeding, which does not heal within 2 weeks
- Patches of white and red color developing in the mouth
- Bleeding in the mouth with no apparent cause
- Numbness, pain, and loss of feeling in the facial area, neck, or mouth due to nerve injury
- Bad breath is another early sign. When a sore is infected by bacteria, they produce gases and cause bad breath. This does not go away with just brushing.
The incidences of mouth cancer are rising due to the widespread use of tobacco products such as cigarettes, tobacco pipes, chewing tobacco, and alcohol consumption. An early detection and diagnosis may help in the effective treatment and reduce the mortality rate associated with mouth cancer.