Signs of Mouth Cancer

Signs of mouth cancer

There are a lot of reasons why you need to get a regular appointment with your dentist. Aside from keeping your teeth and gums in the best possible condition they can also look out for potential health problems. One of these is mouth cancer. Knowing the signs of mouth cancer can ensure that you get the treatment you need as soon as possible.

What is mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer (also referred to as oral cancer which basically means the same thing!) is a form of cancer that can occur in various parts of the mouth-

• The surface of the tongue
• Inner cheek
• Gums
• Roof of the mouth
• Floor of the mouth
• Tonsils
• Saliva glands

Who can get mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer usually affects people over the age of 40. It tends to affect men more than women. People who persistently smoke or drink heavily are at greater risk of getting mouth cancer.

What are the signs?

Look out for the following symptoms-

• Red and white patches on the lining of the mouth and/or the tongue
• Mouth ulcers or sores that do not heal or go away even after gels or other treatments are applied
• Persistent swelling in the mouth (in this case persistent means it stays for more than three weeks).
• Lumps on the skin or lining of the mouth
• The skin or lining of the mouth becomes thicker
• It hurts when you swallow
• Persistent pain on your tongue or in the neck
• Hoarse voice and throat pain that doesn’t go away

These symptoms alone may not be signs of mouth cancer. If you are concerned it is important to talk to a dentist. They will often check via a biopsy (checking sample tissue for cancer cells), endoscope (using a scope to check the throat directly) or imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.

How is mouth cancer treated?

There are various ways that mouth cancer can be treated-

• Surgical removal of mouth tumours
• Mouth reconstruction (may be necessary after surgery)
• Radiotherapy (A common cancer treatment using X rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells)

If mouth cancer is detected early enough radiotherapy may be the only required treatment. It can’t be emphasised enough that early detection can prevent extensive damage being done which is why regular dental checkups are essential.

In short even if you detect the signs of mouth cancer you need to remain calm. This is something that can be treated and with the right professional service can result in minimal pain. Remember prevention is better than cure so stay alert and trust your dentist!

Call us on 01375481000 to schedule a consultation ASAP!


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