Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect your cheeks, lips, throat, tongue, gums, and roof/floor of the mouth. To protect yourself, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of oral cancer and scheduling regular preventive checkups with your dentist.
Staying proactive about your health can prevent many problems from occurring, as well as help you identify and get treatment for issues while they are minor before they worsen. Knowledge is power, so knowing what oral cancer can look and feel like can prompt you to seek treatment earlier than you would otherwise. Early treatment means a better outcome!
Possible Red Flags for Oral Cancer
- Ringing and/or a feeling of fullness in the ears
- Difficult and painful swallowing
- Abnormal growth inside or around the mouth
- Loose adult teeth
- Mouth or lip sores that won’t heal
- Unexplained pain in the mouth, ear, cheek, and/or jaw
- Reddish or white patches inside the mouth
If you are currently experiencing any of the warning signs above, please reach out to your primary care provider or dentist right away. The sooner you seek medical guidance, the faster you can start treatment if you do have oral cancer.
Factors That May Increase Risk of Oral Cancer
There are some factors that do contribute to an increased risk of developing oral cancer, such as:
- Chewing tobacco
- Smoking tobacco products (cigars, cigarettes, and vape pens)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Hereditary oral cancer
- Regularly foregoing sun protection for your head and face
Your Preventive Dental Checkup
According to the American Dental Association, everyone should visit the dentist at least twice a year for a dental cleaning and exam. One of the many benefits of biannual dental exams is that dentists will also perform an oral cancer screening to check for any abnormalities in your mouth, neck, and throat. Keeping up with your twice-yearly dental checkups will positively improve your oral health and could potentially save your life!
If you’re looking for a trusted dentist in Fredericksburg, VA, look no further than our team at North River Dental Care! Your health is our top priority. We offer comprehensive dental care in a comfortable environment. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.