More than half of those in the U.S. diagnosed with oral cancer survive the disease after five years. With leaps and bounds made in modern medicine, oral cancer caught in its early stages is highly treatable. Do you know some of the warning signs? We have compiled a list of things to be wary of to help detect oral cancer as soon as possible.
- Persistent mouth sores: Abrasions in your mouth that take an uncomfortable amount of time to heal are a tell-tale sign of oral cancer
- Pain in the mouth: Ongoing mouth pain is another common symptom
- Numbness in the tongue or other parts of the mouth
- Pain in the teeth or jaw
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking
- An unshakeable feeling of having a lump in your throat
- Pain in your ears but without the loss of your hearing
- Loosening of your teeth without any apparent reason
- Noticeable red or white lesions in and around your mouth
- Lingering sore throat or hoarseness
- Swelling of the gums that cause the wearing of dentures to become uncomfortable
- Persistent bad breath
Though there is no clear cause of oral cancer, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can play a role in the conditions development. Excessive use of tobacco and/or alcohol can play a part in developing oral cancer. Another factor is a poor diet, specifically one that is deficient of fruits and vegetables. Also, not practicing proper dental hygiene can lead to oral cancer. Making sure you are brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and limiting sweets are all things that make up a healthy routine. Staying conscious of what you put into your body and following a good dental hygiene routine are great starting points in not only reducing your risk for oral cancer but excellent general health as well. If you believe you exhibit any of these symptoms, we do offer an oral cancer screening for our patients. We are here to help!