Oral Cancer can start as a tiny red or white spot anywhere in the mouth including the tongue, hard or soft palate, gum tissue, lips or cheek. Oral cancer most often occurs in patients who use tobacco in any form. Long term use of tobacco and alcohol increases your risk of developing oral cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer:
*A sore that does not heal or bleeds easily *Pain and/or tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips that does not go away. *A persistent lump or thickening in the cheek. *A change in the way your teeth fit together for more than a few days. *A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat. *Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking or any difficulty moving the jaw or tongue. *Swelling in the mouth or jaw that causes dentures or partials to fit poorly or become uncomfortable. *Loosening of the teeth or pain around the teeth or jaw. *Voice Changes. *A lump or mass in the neck. *Weight loss. *Persistent bad breath.
Many of these signs and symptoms could also be caused by other less serious or benign problems. *** It is very important to see your Physician or Dentist if any of the above sign/symptoms are present and last more than 2 weeks.***
Prevention of Oral Cancer:
*Limit smoking and drinking alcohol. *Limit your exposure to UV light and use a chapstick with sunscreen. *Eat a healthy diet with lots of food from plant sources. *Wear properly fitting dentures and partials.
For more information check out the American Dental Association’s Website: www.ada.org
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