Cancer of the oral cavity is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in cats. Cancers can occur in the gums, lips, tongue, jawbone, or palate. Signs of oral cancer include masses in the mouth, swollen face, drooling, weight loss, sudden tooth loss, or bad breath. While different types of cancer can be found in cats, squamous cell carcinomas form most of these masses.
Early diagnosis is key for successful treatment of oral cancer, which can be very difficult to manage when larger masses start to invade bone. Many masses are found during routine cleanings and oral examinations while they are small and more easily managed, which is one of the many reasons regular preventive care is so important.