Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Cancer is a huge concern these days, as it should be, and most people now realize that catching it early is the best way of ensuring that it can be cured. Oral cancer is no exception, which is just one of the reasons why a person should make regular visits to their dentist’s chair. If you notice changes in your mouth between your regularly scheduled appointments, then concerns may arise. Although it is necessary to panic, the following symptoms should be addressed with your dentist as soon as possible:

  • Lasting Sores or Discomfort:

    If a sore, swelling, or area of discomfort on the tongue, gums, or other location within the mouth does not go away on its own after a few days, it is a good idea to call your dentist. The sores or discomfort could be a sign that your body is fighting something bigger.

  • Lesions or Lumps:

    New or unusual bumps or growths within the mouth, lips, or throat can be warning signs of cancer and should be inspected carefully by a dental professional.

  • Numbness:

    Losing sensation of any area of the mouth — except for immediately following a dental procedure — can be a red flag.

  • Difficulty Swallowing, Chewing or Speaking:

    A sudden change in any of these areas can indicate a bigger problem. It may just be due to an infection or minor illness, but you should discuss this with your dentist. Hoarseness, difficulty moving the jaw, and even sudden trouble swallowing can be indicators of oral cancer.

  • Unexplainable Loose Teeth:

    Although teeth can shift, if you find that your teeth are suddenly loose, then consult your dentist. This, as a general rule, is not a normal occurrence and may point to a bigger problem.

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