There is growing evidence that regions of the genome that cannot encode proteins play an important role in diseases. These regions are usually transcribed into long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). LncRNAs, little or no coding potential, are defined as capped transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides. New sequencing technologies have shown that a large number of aberrantly expressed lncRNAs are associated with multiple cancer types and indicated they have emerged as an important class of pervasive genes during the development and progression of cancer. However, the underlying mechanism in cancer is still unknown. Therefore, it is necessary to elucidate the lncRNA function. Notably, many lncRNAs dysregulation are associated with Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and affect various aspects of cellular homeostasis, including proliferation, survival, migration or genomic stability. This review expounds the up- or down-regulation of lncRNAs in OSCC and the molecular mechanisms by which lncRNAs perform their function in the malignant cell. Finally, the potential of lncRNAs as non-invasive biomarkers for OSCC diagnosis are also described. LncRNAs hold promise as prospective novel therapeutic targets, but more research is needed to gain a better understanding of their biologic function.