When cancer develops in your mouth, it is important that it be noticed right away.
Sores in the mouth are rather common, but you do not want to neglect them if they persist.
Oral cancer is on the rise, but most often, it is the dentist who will first discover signs of mouth cancer.
Most dentists are vigilant about the oral cancer screening of their patients and readily conduct these exams.
There are many types of sores that can occur in the mouth. They vary in size and type, as well as in their causes.
The one that you especially want to watch for is a sore that does not heal in about two weeks.
Traits of a Canker Sore
A canker sore usually has pain associated with it. While a canker sore is not cancerous, it could become cancer.
Canker sores can vary in size and are typically small. They are normally round and are usually white, yellow or gray, and have a red edge.
Most cancers that occur in the mouth are not accompanied by pain. This is one reason that they are often only discovered in the later stages or during a routine dental exam.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
● White or red patches (or both) in your mouth
● Numbness that you cannot account for
● A feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
● Sudden weight loss
● A chronic sore throat
● A lump in your neck
● A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
● Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
People with the greatest risk of developing mouth cancer are men over 50 who smoke. Smokeless tobacco and alcohol are two other risk factors.
If you suspect oral cancer, see a dentist right away as well as your primary care physician. Dentists are trained to recognize oral cancer, and an early biopsy can help prevent future risks and complications.
Dr. Vadivel, DDS, is a board certified periodontal surgeon, and Founder-CEO of Implants & Gumcare of Texas, offering affordable restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. Dr. Vadivel has over 25 years of experience.