Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are a large group of cancers that fall under the category of cancer of the head and neck. Current therapy includes surgery and radiotherapy associated with extreme morbidity and a decline in the quality of life. At advanced stages, oral cancer is often diagnosed and has a poor prognosis. Hence, an attempt was made to understand current status, needs and developments in oral cancer. This review provided epidemiology, risk factors and methods of screening of oral cancer. It reviewed current treatment strategies and risks associated oral cancer treatment. This review focused on recent developments in oral cancer research. Therapeutic peptides of microbial origin have proven to be effective in oral cancer. Hence, microorganisms and their peptides are reviewed which may be considered as novel leads for the treatment of oral and oropharyngeal cancers.