According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 60 men, or 1 in 141 women will develop mouth cancer in their lifetime. This form of cancer is most likely to affect the tongue, the throat, gums and other parts of the mouth.
The good news is mouth cancer is easily treated and curable if detected early. Here, we’ve outlined some possible symptoms of mouth cancer to watch for.
Lip or mouth sores
If you have a stubborn mouth sore that won’t heal, on your lips, gums or tongue, this could be a sign of mouth cancer. Usually, mouth sores will disappear within a week. So, if a sore hasn’t healed after a couple weeks, consider having it checked by a professional. Also watch for unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth or throat. Swollen lumps in the neck’s lymph glands could be an indication that something is wrong.
White or red patches
Another sign of mouth cancer could be red or white patches inside the mouth. Rough patches inside the mouth with odd textures are another symptom to watch for. A lot of people experience bleeding and sensitive gums when brushing their teeth or after visiting the dentist. However, if bleeding persists or specific areas of the mouth bleed for no reason, call your dentist to have it checked out.
Mouth or throat pain
Stay aware of any mouth or throat pain you feel, and keep track of how long it persists. If you have unexplained difficulty swallowing, chewing, talking or moving your jaw, this might be a symptom of mouth cancer. Keep track of any possible symptoms you experience and mention them to your dentist at your next appointment.
Early detection of mouth cancer is critical to a successful and complete recovery. With timely treatment, most forms of mouth cancer are easily cured. If you are a smoker, or previous smoker, your risk of developing mouth cancer is about 5 – 10 times greater than non-smokers’ risk. Keep your lifestyle factors in mind and visit the dentist often for check-ups!
If you have questions or concerns, schedule an appointment with Jackson Dental by calling us at (573) 243-5200 or stopping by our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo.