The oral cavity includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks (buccal mucosa), the teeth, the gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue, the bony roof of the mouth (hard palate) and the area behind the wisdom teeth (called the retromolar trigone).
The oropharynx is the middle part of the throat just behind the oral cavity. It can be seen when your mouth is wide open. It includes the base of the tongue (the back third of the tongue), the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth), the tonsils, and the side and back walls of the throat.
The oral cavity and oropharynx help you breathe, talk, eat, chew, and swallow. Minor salivary glands all over the oral cavity and oropharynx make saliva (spit) that keeps your mouth and throat moist and helps you digest food.
Ask your doctor to explain or show you where your cancer is. Explore the 3D interactive model here to learn more.