There are many different symptoms related to oral cancer or cancer of the mouth, including:

  • white patches (leukoplakia), red patches (erythroplakia) or mixed red and white patches (eryhtroleukoplakia) on the lips or in the mouth
  • an ulcer or sore in the mouth or on the lip that doesn’t heal
  • a lump or growth on the lip or in the mouth, including on the tongue
  • thickening in the cheek
  • bleeding in the mouth
  • pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away
  • persistent earache
  • loose teeth
  • dentures that no longer fit
  • slurred speech
  • swollen salivary glands
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • numbness or loss of sensation over the tongue or lips
  • swelling of the jaw

In cases of advanced stage carcinoma, additional symptoms may appear:

  • swelling in the neck
  • inability to open the mouth fully (trismus)
  • difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • painful swallowing or chewing
  • difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
  • loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • weight loss

There are also some rare symptoms of advanced stage mouth cancer that may manifest as an orocutaneous fistula (an opening from the inside of the mouth to the surface of the skin) and fracture of the jaw bone.
(Canadian Cancer Society)