Recently on our blog, we’ve been focusing on oral cancer, a serious challenge to oral health. We have covered why it is so essential to get screened regularly and what that involves. We have also identified some of the most common risk factors for developing oral cancer. Now, we turn our attention to the common warning signs of oral cancer.
Oral cancer, like any other cancer, starts when mutations occur that alter cell behaviors. Over time, the changed cells proliferate at such a rate that they start to overtake surrounding healthy cells. In oral cancer, this process can take place unnoticed for some time. And when symptoms do manifest themselves, they are often initially quite benign and easy to dismiss. It is important to be aware of any physical changes in and around your mouth.
Some of the most common early signs of oral cancer are white or red patches in mouth tissue and the development of canker-like ulcers. Other signs range from numbness around the mouth and trouble chewing, swallowing, and speaking to lumps you can feel in your mouth and neck. Persistent ear aches, war-like masses and prolonged hoarseness are also signs. If you notice sores or patches in your mouth that last for more than 14 days, get them looked at immediately.
At Dynamic Dental Smiles, we want to help you have optimal oral health. Please talk to Dr. Maria Boutsikos, DMD about any changes you experience in your mouth. Catching oral cancer is the best way to help ensure effective treatment.