Oral Cancer Signs

Early Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer

April is oral cancer awareness month and we’re going to be shedding some light on oral cancer related topics all month. With that in mind, in this article we are going to discuss a few early signs and symptoms that may indicate oral cancer.

Chronic Pain

Oral cancer often causes associated pain in the mouth, as well as in adjacent areas of the body like the face and ears. The pain may be recurring and often increases when swallowing.

Mouth Sores, Lumps, Patches

Sores, lumps, or white/red patches inside the mouth may also be cause for concern, especially if they do not heal given time.

Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Enlarged Lymph Nodes in the neck can also be a potential sign of oral cancer. Your dentist will check for any Lymph Node abnormalities during your regular checkups, so it’s important that you make and keep regular dental appointments (once every 6 months).

Dental Health Clinic in Bloomington, MN

Many potential symptoms of oral cancer overlap with much less serious conditions like toothaches. That’s why it’s important to seek help from your dentist if any of these symptoms crop up and persist without getting better. Your dentist will be able to take a closer look at the symptoms and see if they warrant further investigation.

At Smiles for Life, our goal is to provide you with top-notch dental care from the moment you set up your appointment to the moment you walk out the door. Dr. Tim Brooks has been providing family and cosmetic dental care to patients throughout Minnesota for many years. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life. Our primary dental clinic is located in Bloomington, but we also serve the surrounding Minnesota areas.

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

Unfortunately, oral cancer can go unnoticed in the early stages as it can look like a common ulcer or cold sore. Your dentist knows what to look out for, that’s why it’s important to get in every six months for a check up.

Over 300,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year and according to The Oral Cancer Foundation, on every hour of every day someone dies from this serious dental disease. Common indicators of oral cancer include:

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Cold sore
  • Discoloration of tissue
  • Sores that don’t heal within two weeks
  • Difficulty in swallowing

The highest amount of risk for oral cancer is associated with tobacco use.

Approximately 75% of those diagnosed were either current or past tobacco users. The risk jumps up by 15% if tobacco use is accompanied by heavy alcohol use.

If a specialist confirms oral cancer after a biopsy, treatment is either completed by surgery alone or radiation along with surgery if the cancer is in advanced stages.