Get to Know Oral Cancers

Oral or mouth cancer occurs in the oral cavity such as on the lips, tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, gums, roof, and floor of the mouth.

Oral cancers form when cells in the oral tissue mutate in their DNA, which tells the cell what to do. This mutation tells the cell to continue dividing and growing when healthy cells would die. Cancer-causing mutations will usually begin in the thin, squamous cells that line your lips and the inside of your mouth.

Some symptoms of oral cancer are:

  • A persistent lip or mouth sore
  • A white or reddish patch inside the mouth
  • A growth or lump inside the mouth
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Loose teeth

If you experience any of these symptoms that last more than two weeks, talk to a doctor. They may not be cancerous but can be signs of a dangerous infection.

Types of oral cancers

Although most oral cancers occur in the thin linings of the mouth (squamous cell carcinoma), it’s helpful to learn the specific areas where they can begin and what treatment is best for each.

  • Lip Cancer is highly curable when diagnosed early
  • Gum Cancer is often mistaken as gingivitis and is highly curable if detected early
  • Hard Palate Cancer is a rare type of oral cancer with the most common sign being an ulcer on the roof of the mouth
  • Tongue Cancer usually begins as a persistent sore at the side of the tongue and may bleed easily
  • Floor of Mouth Cancer can be mistaken as canker sores
  • Buccal Mucosa Cancer occurs as a lump inside the cheek tissue

Risk factors

While cell mutation is the cause of cancer, no fact can determine why it happens. However, some risk factors that can increase the chances of an oral cancer may include:

  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Tobacco use – cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vape pods, and chewing tobacco, among others
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual transmission
  • Weak immune system
  • Excessive sun exposure to the lips


Like any type of cancer, there is no proven way to prevent them fully but there are some practises that can reduce their chances of occurring.

  • Stop smoking or do not start at all. It exposes the cells in the oral cavity (and your lungs) to cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips by staying in the shade as much as possible and using a lip product that contains SPF.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation. Alarming levels of alcohol can irritate the cells in your mouth, making them more vulnerable to cancer.
  • Consult with a dentist regularly. Routine dental exams can help identify any signs of oral cancer.
  • Rinse your mouth regularly with an alcohol-free mouthwash. Browse through Oradex’s range of alcohol-free mouthwashes here.


Mouth Cancer | Mayo Clinic

Types of Mouth Cancer | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

What Causes Teeth to be Sensitive to Cold?

Have you ever had a sharp, stinging sensation when you bite into ice cream or sip an icy beverage on a hot day? This sensation can radiate across your head, causing a ‘brain freeze’

The main culprit, tooth sensitivity, may occur as a dental discomfort or a sign of a more serious issue. This happens when a tooth’s outer protective layer–the enamel–starts to thin and wear down. Loss of enamel exposes the sensitive dentin of the tooth (or nerves) which reacts to heat and cold. Some common causes include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • Acidic foods
  • Tobacco products
  • Forceful brushing
  • Alcohol-based mouthwashes

Another reason for teeth sensitivity can be the cementum–the layer covering the roots–being exposed due to receding gums, further increasing teeth sensitivity. A chipped tooth is most likely to cause this.

If you are frequently experiencing heat and cold discomfort when eating and drinking, a chronic underlying condition may be the issue. In this case, talk to a professional to get proper diagnosis and treatment.

Home remedies to ease discomfort

Practising these tips at home can help ease discomfort caused by teeth sensitivity.

  • Rinse with salt water
  • Rinse with honey and warm water
  • Rub gently with turmeric

Keep in mind that these methods may not be able to address them permanently. Consulting with a dentist to determine a proper treatment plan may be a better option to address any underlying dental issues.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Changing your daily habits can be effective in preventing further damage to your enamel layer and dentin.

  • Avoid foods and drinks that are acidic such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, pickles, and wine as they tend to wear down tooth enamel.
  • Elevate your dental care routine. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush gently in a circular motion. Apart from that, opt for safe fluoride-based toothpaste such as Oradex Periodontal Toothpaste, Oradex Antibacterial Toothpaste, Oradex Antioxidant Toothpaste, or Oradex Charcoal Green Tea Toothpaste, all of which help strengthen your teeth. Oradex Charcoal Green Tea Toothpaste additionally contains xylitol and hydroxyapatite, which together with fluoride, employs a three-in-one method for reducing tooth erosion while actively remineralising its enamel.

A number of reasons can cause tooth sensitivity. Whether they may be from poor oral care, injury, or a disease, these practices and remedies can provide short-term relief for pain and discomfort.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity to Heat and Cold — and How to Treat It | Healthline