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.