Oral cancer is a type of the disease that affects the lips, the mouth, the throat, and the salivary glands. Like most other cancers, an early diagnosis can help you beat it. Use this guide to learn about the signs and symptoms of the disease so you can work with your dentist to spot it early and get the treatment you need:
Sores On or Near the Mouth
Not all signs and symptoms of oral cancer are easy to spot on your own, but there are a few unusual symptoms that can show you that something is wrong. If you notice any sores on your lips, on your gums, or in other parts of the mouth, you should play close attention to them. If these sores are not healing or if they bleed easily, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Strange Feelings in the Mouth
If you experience any changes in the way your mouth feels, it could be a sign of a larger problem. Oral cancer often causes numbness in at least one part of the mouth. It might also make it difficult to chew or to swallow. You might feel like you have something blocking your throat or notice some swelling in your jaw. It can even affect the way your voice sounds. See your dentist as soon as possible if you notice any of these irregularities.
White or Red Patches in the Mouth
Another common sign of oral cancer is white or red patches. These patches might appear on your gums, on your tongue, or in other areas inside the mouth. Look inside your mouth as you brush and floss your teeth to try to see any unusual marks like these.
Visiting your dentist in Atlanta on a regular basis can help you spot problems like oral cancer early enough to do something about it. Schedule two appointments a year to get the deep cleanings and the checkups that help you maintain your oral health.