Tobacco Use Can Up your Risk of Developing Mouth Cancer: World No Tobacco Day

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 31, 2018
Quick Bites

  • Tobacco contains thousands of chemicals of which carbon monoxide is the most harmful
  • The carbon monoxide and nicotine found in tobacco can cause a lot of damage to your mouth
  • Tobacco can stain your teeth and give you bad breath
  • Tobacco users are also at greater risk of throat, mouth and oesophagal cancer

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.2 billion people smoke worldwide resulting in about 7 million lives are lost attributing to tobacco use. Tobacco contains thousands of chemicals, nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide of which carbon monoxide is the most harmful. It can have a drastic impact on your health and it can affect other parts of the body as well.

The carbon monoxide and nicotine found in tobacco can cause a lot of damage to your mouth. Tobacco can stain your teeth and give you bad breath. Tobacco users are also at greater risk of throat, mouth and oesophagal cancer.

According to reports, approximately 90% of the people suffering from mouth cancers are tobacco users. People who stop the use of tobacco are less at risk of developing a mouth cancer than those who don’t. The best way to avoid such a problem is by curbing the use of tobacco in all forms.

Also Read: Shocking Facts: Health Effects of Smoking on Women

Causes of Mouth Cancer 

  • Snuff and chewing tobacco
  • High intake of alcohol
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Unhygienic teeth
  • Weak immune system
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HDV) Virus – this virus can also lead to cervical cancer among women, which can then progress into mouth cancer

Symptoms of Mouth Cancer 

  • Mouth ulcers that do not heal
  • Jaw pain
  • A lump or thickening of the skin
  • Patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue
  • Difficulty in speaking, swallowing and chewing
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Painful throat or tongue

These are some of the common symptoms of mouth cancer. It is necessary to consult a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms. It is best if the treatment is done at the earliest to avoid further risks.

Diagnosis of Mouth Cancer

The doctor will examine your mouth and tongue thoroughly to find infected areas if any such as sores, white patches or areas of irritation. If the infected area is found, a small sample of cells is tested following I a procedure, also known as a biopsy. The cells are then analyzed for cancer or finding precancerous changes that indicate a risk of future cancer.

Treatment of Mouth Cancer


Surgery is the oldest form of treatment to remove all types of cancer. In a surgery, the part infected with the cancer is removed by operation.

Radiotherapy or Radiation Therapy

Under this, the cancerous cells are eliminated using doses of radiotherapy. It is usually done to prevent cancer from returning. It is given along with medication. Depending on how far cancer has spread, this treatment is usually given every day over the course of six weeks.


Cancer-killing medicines that damage the DNA of the cancerous cells, making them unable to reproduce are given in chemotherapy. Sometimes, this treatment is used with radiotherapy when the cancer is widespread or there is a risk that cancer would return.

Sometimes, chemotherapy could have some side effects that can damage the healthy tissues of our bodies. Side effects of this involve:

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Hair loss
  • Sore mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Kidney problems
  • Numbness of the hands and feet

Modern Targeted Therapy

Cancerous cells are destroyed by this undercurrent targeted therapy. Trained therapy has very little side effects on the healthy tissues.

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