Oral cancer is an incredibly serious disease that involves cancer affecting any part of the mouth. Unfortunately, symptoms don't often occur until the cancer is in a more advanced stage, so it may be hard to notice on your own. That is why it is so important to keep up with your regular dental cleanings and evaluations, as we can help identify symptoms of oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Oral cancer is sometimes hard to diagnose, as early symptoms may be mistaken for other problems, such as a canker sore or a toothache. A persistent mouth sore that won't heal on its own is one of the most common signs. This may present as aw red or white patch on the gums, tonsil, tongue, or inner cheeks, or it may feel like a thickening of the skin.
Swelling and pain may also indicate oral cancer. If you have persistent mouth or throat pain, you may want to visit our office. Numbness in the mouth and tongue could indicate oral cancer, as could jaw swelling, especially if your dentures no longer fit properly.
Other symptoms may also indicate the presence of oral cancer. Loosening of the teeth and a lump in the neck should signal some type of dental problem. Weight loss and persistent bad breath could also indicate oral cancer and need to be investigated.
When to See Us If you have any persistent symptoms or signs, you should be sure to give us a call. If any of these warning signs last for more than two weeks, we'll want to investigate. We will also look at more common potential causes, such as an infection.
When caught early, oral cancer has the greatest chance of being treated. That's why we always conduct oral cancer screenings during our evaluations. Call us today to set up your next appointment and to receive your oral cancer screening.