EARLY SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER

You can get cancer anywhere in the body, including the mouth and throat. However, oral cancer can occur at any age, whether or not you smoke. It is wise to be aware of the symptoms and learn how to avoid them.

Open, say “preventive”.
Your dentist is your partner in the fight against oral cancer. During your regular visits to the dentist, you should be screened for oral cancer. The dentist will look for suspicious spots and feel for lumps in and around the mouth. This can include the roof of your mouth, the inside of your cheeks, under your tongue, and other areas of your head and neck.

Head and neck cancer can start in the following ways:

Within the sinuses (around the nose on the inside of the skull)
Inside and behind the nose
In the mouth, including the tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth
In the back of the mouth and throat (pharynx)
In the throat (voice)
Despite being on the lips, lip cancer is a type of skin cancer
Salivary glands (saliva)
The most common symptoms of oral cancer are flat, painless white or red spots or small sores. In most cases, spots and sores in the mouth are harmless. But if you notice anything, it’s important to let your dentist know so they can check it out.

Some dentists are using a new, simple method to help detect cancer or precancerous cells. The dentist uses a small brush to collect a sample of cells from the suspicious area. The sample is sent to the laboratory for analysis. This procedure is easy, almost painless, and can be done in the dentist’s chair. The results will help your dentist decide if you need further follow-up.1

Learn how to recognize oral cancer
Tell your dentist if you notice: 2

Red or white spots
Wounds that bleed easily or do not heal
Thick or hard patches or lumps
A rough or crusty surface
Anesthesia
Pain or tenderness
When you bite down, the teeth move together
Problems with chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the tongue and jaw
Sensation of something stuck in the throat
The pain in the throat will not go away
Pain, tinnitus, hearing loss
Prevention of high-risk behaviors such as smoking, smoking, and vaping; smokeless tobacco use; Excessive alcohol consumption is important in preventing oral cancer. Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease and can cause cancer at the back of the throat, known as “oral cancer.”

Most importantly? Regular preventive care can help prevent and treat oral cancer. Get regular dental cleanings and check-ups, and see your dentist right away if you notice any signs of concern.

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