Know the Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer

 

oral cancer in houston texas at royal dental usaApril is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. With oral cancer rates on the rise it is important to understand the signs and symptoms that may indicate an oral cancer.

Oral cancer can occur on the lips, inside the mouth, the throat, tonsils, or salivary glands. Oral cancer can be fatal, with a 5 year survival rate of roughly 50 percent. One of the main reasons for oral cancer patient’s poor prognosis is a failure to detect the cancer early. Identifying symptoms of oral cancer is the key to successful treatment.

When Should I See a Dentist?

You should make an appointment with your dentist if you have any unexplained, persistent signs and symptoms that last more than two weeks.

See Your Dentist If Any of the Following Last Longer Than 2 Weeks:

  • A sore in the mouth that does not heal is the most common symptom of oral cancer
  • An unexplained pain in your mouth or ear
  • An unexplained lump in your neck
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
  • A persistent sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Numbness of the tongue or mouth
  • Jaw swelling that makes dentures hurt or fit poorly
  • Unexplained loosening of the teeth
  • Unexplained pain in the teeth or jaw
  • Voice changes

In most cases it probably won’t be cancer, but it’s better to be on the safe side and see your dentist. If oral cancer is present, getting it diagnosed as soon as possible will help ensure that any treatment is as effective as possible.

Regular Dental Visits are Key

You won’t always be able to spot the earliest warning signs of oral cancer, which is why regular check-ups with both your dentist and physician are so important. Your dentist is trained to detect early warning signs of oral cancer, so be sure to make regular checkups a part of your life.

If you don’t have a regular dentist, we would like to invite you to come visit us at your local Royal Dental office. We have 7 dental offices in the Greater Houston area to serve you and your family’s dental needs.

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