Common Signs & Symptoms to Detect Early Oral Cancer

Common Signs & Symptoms to Detect Early Oral Cancer

Feb 07, 2024

Oral health is crucial to complete well-being, and regular dental check-ups are crucial in maintaining it. One essential component of these check-ups is an oral cancer screening. In this article, we’ll delve into the importance of oral cancer screenings and explore the common signs and symptoms that can help detect oral cancer early on.

What Is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screening is a proactive measure dentists take to detect early signs of oral cancer. It involves thoroughly examining the mouth, gums, and throat to identify any abnormalities or potential indicators of cancerous growth. This screening is a speedy and pain-free procedure that can be completed during the time of routine dental check-up.

What are the Major Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings?

Early Detection: One of the primary benefits of oral cancer screenings is the early detection of potential issues. Identifying abnormalities in their initial stages significantly improves the chances of successful treatment.

Increased Survival Rates: Early detection often leads to more effective treatment options, increasing the chances of a positive outcome and higher survival rates.

Preventive Measures: Oral cancer screenings empower individuals to take healthful measures, such as lifestyle changes or continuous monitoring to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.

Cost-Effective: Detecting oral cancer early can be cost-effective as compared to treating it in the advanced stages. Regular screenings can save both lives and financial resources.

What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Knowing about the signs and symptoms associated with oral cancer is crucial for early detection. If you experience any of the following, it’s essential to consult with a dentist in 75093 promptly:

Persistent Mouth Sores:

Oral cancer can manifest as persistent sores or ulcers in the mouth that don’t seem to heal. These sores may appear as red or white patches, and their longevity without improvement is a cause for concern. A dentist should examine any sore that lingers for more than two weeks.

Unexplained Bleeding:

Unexplained bleeding in the oral cavity is a significant red flag. If you notice blood during routine activities such as brushing your teeth or if you experience bleeding gums without an apparent cause, it’s essential to seek professional evaluation.

Persistent Sore Throat:

While sore throats are common and often attributed to viral infections, a persistent sore throat that doesn’t respond to typical treatments should be investigated. If throat discomfort lingers for an extended period, it’s advisable to consult a dentist or healthcare professional.

Difficulty Swallowing or Chewing:

Oral cancer can impact the functionality of the mouth and throat, leading to troubled swallowing or chewing. If you experience pain or discomfort while eating or swallowing, it’s crucial to have a thorough examination to rule out potential issues.

Changes in Voice:

A noticeable change in the tone or quality of your voice can indicate oral cancer affecting the throat or vocal cords. If you observe any alterations in your voice that are not associated with common illnesses, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.

Numbness or Tingling:

Oral cancer may affect nerves in the mouth and surrounding areas, leading to sensations of numbness or tingling. If you experience unusual sensations, especially in the tongue or other oral tissues, it’s essential to bring it to your dentist’s attention.

Persistent Ear Pain:

Oral cancers situated in the back of the mouth or throat can sometimes cause persistent ear pain. If you experience discomfort in your ears without any apparent cause, it’s important to have a comprehensive oral examination to rule out potential connections to oral health issues.

Lumps or Thickening:

Any abnormal lumps or thickening in the oral tissues, including the cheeks, gums, or throat, should be promptly evaluated. Dentists can conduct thorough examinations to identify and assess such irregularities, which may indicate underlying concerns.

Unexpected Weight Loss:

Unexplained decrease in weight, especially when accompanied by other oral symptoms, may be a sign of underlying health issues, including oral cancer. If you suffer noticeable and unintentional weight loss, it’s highly crucial to consult with a healthcare professional.

Changes in Dental Appearance:

Oral cancer can sometimes cause changes in the appearance of teeth or dental structures. This may include shifting teeth, changes in how dentures fit, or alterations in the jaw’s alignment. Any unexpected changes in dental appearance warrant professional examination.

What to Do If You Detect Any Symptom:

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it’s crucial to take prompt action:

Schedule a Dental Appointment: Contact your Plano family dentist and schedule an appointment for a thorough examination.

Share Your Concerns: During the appointment, communicate any symptoms or concerns you may have noticed. Your dentist will carry out all-inclusive examination and may recommend further tests if necessary.

Follow Professional Advice: If oral cancer is suspected, follow your dentist’s advice regarding additional tests or consultations with specialists. Early intervention is key to successful treatment.

Get an Oral Cancer Screening Test Near You

Oral cancer screenings are vital to preventive healthcare, and awareness of the signs and symptoms is crucial for early detection. Regular visits to the dentist in Plano at SS Dental can contribute significantly to maintaining optimal oral health. By being proactive and seeking professional help if you notice any concerning symptoms, you safeguard your well-being. Remember, early detection can make a major difference in the successful treatment of oral cancer.