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Recognizing the Early Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Proper dental care habits and healthy lifestyle choices are the best thing you can do yourself to maintain the health of your mouth and teeth. This includes visiting your dentist regularly for oral checkups. Your family dentist near Glen Ellyn plays a vital role in preventing any problems in your mouth from getting worse. For patients diagnosed with oral cancer, early detection is the most important factor for successful treatment.

Oral Cancer

Sores or Swollen Areas

During your biannual dental checkup, your dentist does more than look at just your teeth. He or she is also keeping an eye out for any signs of oral cancer in your mouth or on your lips. Lumps, sores, and thick patches anywhere in your throat or mouth can by an early symptom of cancer. Some patients will have swellings that make wearing dentures difficult or uncomfortable. If you are suffering from continuous sores or pain in your mouth, tell your dentist right away.

Pain or Irritation

If you notice ongoing tenderness, pain, or even numbness anywhere in your throat, mouth, or on your tongue, mention this to your dentist. Another symptom or oral cancer is lingering hoarseness or an ongoing sore throat. Some forms of oral cancer will cause pain in one of your ears without affecting your hearing. If your dentist suspects that you may have oral cancer, you are likely to be referred to a specialist, who may biopsy the area to test for cancerous cells.

Other Symptoms

Some people afflicted with throat cancer will have trouble swallowing, or feel like something is stuck in their throat. Having loose teeth without a normal dental cause can be an early symptom or oral cancer. If you are having trouble chewing, speaking, swallowing, or moving your jaw or tongue, you should alert your dentist right away. A thorough dental examination and oral cancer screening performed regularly can make a big difference in your health. By catching oral cancer early, your chances of recovery are greatly improved.