What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

The following symptoms are common indicators that you may have oral cancer. While these symptoms may indicate a less serious issue, it’s in your best interest to schedule a doctor visit to receive a professional diagnosis. The doctor will perform a physical exam on your lips and mouth and run tests if any suspicious or abnormal tissue is found. If any of these symptoms have persisted for more than a week, call your oral and maxillofacial surgeon today.

  • A mouth sore that doesn’t seem to be healing
  • Teeth are more loose than they used to be
  • Mouth and ear pain
  • Difficulty swallowing and chewing
  • A growth or lump inside your mouth or in the cheek
  • Voice changes
  • Weight loss
  • Persistent bad breath

Factors That Influence the Risk of Oral Cancer

  1. Gender
    More than 50,000 people were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. More than two-thirds of those diagnosed were men, and men who are 50 years old or older are the most likely to receive this diagnosis.
  2. Use of tobacco and alcohol
    Those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or tobacco in pipes, as well as those who regularly consume alcohol, are six times more likely to develop oral cancer when compared to nonsmokers and nondrinkers. Those who consume dip, snuff, and chewing tobacco are 50 times more likely to develop cancer in the cheek, gums, and lips.
  3. Genetics
    A family history of oral cancer or other cancers may indicate increased risk.
  4. Sun exposure
    The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage our skin, increasing the risk of all types of skin cancer.
  5. HPV
    Also known as the human papillomavirus, contains certain strains of this STI (sexually transmitted infection) which can increase the risk of oral cancer.

How is Oral Cancer Treated?

If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, treatment will depend on the location and stage of the disease. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, drug therapy, and immunotherapy are all ways that your doctor can treat and hopefully cure your oral cancer.

If you have symptoms of oral cancer, schedule an examination today.

The Center for Oral Surgery of Las Vegas is dedicated to providing the best oral care in Nevada. If oral cancer is diagnosed by renowned oral surgeon Dr. Letelier, you will be referred to highly skilled and trusted specialists. Call us today at 702.367.6666 to make an appointment.

COVID-19 Updates

A COVID-19 message and well wishes from the Center for Oral Surgery of Las Vegas to all of our patients.


The health and safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. Per CDC guidelines we will be continuing with or instituting the following measures. Other measures will be instituted as guided by the authorities.


  • Our staff will be wearing enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • We will be monitoring the health of employees and keeping home any employee who displays symptoms of COVID-19.
  • We will be providing services by appointment only and communicating any special instructions to the patient for the appointment (i.e. face covering).
  • We will be limiting the number of people allowed inside the office at any given time.
  • We will be requiring temperature checks and health screenings for patients before entering the office.
  • We will be limiting the contact between the administrative staff and the patients, such as eliminating check-in forms and receipts when possible.


Please fill any forms online at our website.