Cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth is referred to as oral cancer. The National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) estimates that more than half of the people with oral cancer survive it after a few years. If the condition is diagnosed early enough, there is a high possibility of successful treatment. Your dentist will lookout for early signs of oral cancer during your regular appointments. However, if you recognize these early signs of the condition, it is vital to inform your dentist immediately.
White and Red Patches in Your Mouth
If you have white and red patches in your mouth that lasts longer than two weeks, you should immediately book an appointment with your dentist. These patches are an indication of an irregular growth of cells, which may be cancerous. The abnormalities can exist without you experiencing any pain.
A Mouth or Lip Sore That Does Not Heal
A common warning sign of oral cancer is having a sore on the mouth, which does not heal. If you have an ulcer on any part of the mouth, including the tongue, lips, palate, or gums, that doesn’t heal within three weeks; then, you should have it checked out.
An adult having loose teeth is not a usual occurrence. Oral cancer can cause loose teeth, and you should have the condition investigated as soon as possible.
Difficulty in Chewing or Swallowing
Depending on the location of cancer in the mouth, you may experience difficulty when chewing or swallowing. Cancer often makes it difficult for jaw movements, and in some instances, can cause numbness.
Chronic Sore Throat
One of the earliest signs of oral cancer is having a sore throat or a persistent lump in the throat that never seems to go away.
Pain in the Mouth
Even if you do not have visible signs of oral cancer, constant pain in the mouth is an indication that something is not right. The pain may or may not be cancer-related, but it would help if you have it checked out to eradicate any cancer possibilities.
Having regular dental checkups will give your dentist an opportunity of detecting the oral cancer signs at a very early stage. Remember that the possibility of successful treatment increases if the condition is diagnosed early enough.