Oral cavity cancers are among the most common types of cancer, and smoking is one of their main causes. [1] Keep reading as we explore the relationship between smoking and oral cancer.

Smoking and oral cancer
Smoking and Oral Cancer

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer (mouth cancer) is a common type of cancer affecting the tongue, lips, and other parts of the mouth. [2]

It involves the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the oral cavity.

Left untreated, it can spread to the lymph nodes, throat, and other areas of the head and neck.

What Are 5 Signs of Oral Cancer?

Five of the most common smoking tongue cancer symptoms are: [3]

1️⃣ Persistent bad breath

2️⃣ Non-healing mouth and lip ulcers

3️⃣ A lump or swelling inside the mouth

4️⃣ Bleeding and numbness in the mouth

5️⃣ White or red patches inside the mouth

Other symptoms can include:

  • Loose teeth
  • Sore throat and changes in speech
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain and numbness in the mouth and ears

Risk Factors

The relation between smoking and oral cancer makes tobacco use the primary risk factor.

Other risk factors include: [4]

  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Weakened immune system
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Too much exposure to sunlight
  • Have human papillomavirus (HPV)

Relation Between Smoking and Oral Cancer

Smoking and oral cancer statistics show that smokers have a 5 – 10 times higher risk of developing this type of cancer. [5]

This risk is even higher among chain smokers who drink alcohol.

A high percentage of tobacco users that get cancer also die from it.

The danger comes from the carcinogenic chemicals in tobacco. [6]

Inhaling or chewing tobacco exposes your mouth to these harmful chemicals.

They cause genetic changes in the cells of your mouth and lead to cancer.

How to Prevent Oral Cancer?

Do the following to prevent oral cancer: [7]

  • Quit smoking
  • Stay hydrated
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Get vaccinated for HPV
  • Limit alcohol and drug use
  • Have regular dental checkups
  • Brush daily with fluoride toothpaste

Treatment for Oral Cancer

Now that you know the relationship between smoking and oral cancer, it’s time to learn about its treatments.

The main treatment options include: [8]

✅ Surgery

✅ Chemotherapy

✅ Radiation therapy

Quit Smoking to Regain a Healthy Smile

Knowing the relationship between smoking and oral cancer, now you can quit smoking and put your health first.

We can help you on this journey and restore your beautiful teeth.

With DentaVaction, you can receive high-quality whitening treatments, dental implants, and veneers at affordable prices.

Contact us to plan your dental tourism trip and regain your healthy smile!


The percentage of tobacco users that get oral cancer is higher than non-smokers. [9]

However, mouth cancer can also occur without smoking.

Not all the causes of mouth cancer are known, but risk factors like alcohol use and HPV increase the chances. [10]

Smoking can also lead to other dental problems like: [11]

  • Tooth loss
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth decay
  • Stained teeth

Have questions about tobacco related oral cancer?

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