signs of oral cancer

Signs of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer isn’t a laughing matter and it should be screened for regularly. Oral cancer overall has a 60% five year survival rate, but a 70 – 90% if caught within stages 1 a 2. What causes problems with oral cancer is that it can easily spread to the following locations:

  • The tongue
  • The roof of the mouth and under the tongue
  • The inside of the cheeks
  • The oropharynx (the area anterior to the soft palate)
  • The salivary glands
  • The lips

How Common is Oral Cancer

More than 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year with a 2:1 ratio of men to women. Even with our advances in technology, it still has a 20% mortality rate. To break that down for Keller, TX that means that more than 7 people each year in Keller are diagnosed. With such a small city, everyone should get screened regularly.

What To Look Out For

There are quite a few signs that could mean that you have oral cancer, but many of them have multiple meanings. We always recommend that if you notice any of these signs that you schedule an appointment with our dental office first to get an accurate diagnostic. Online tools like WebMD are a great way to scare yourself and shouldn’t be used to self diagnose unless you want to know the 300 things that are going to kill you within the next 6 months and which will most likely not even occur.

The first signs and symptoms of Oral Cancer to look out for are:

  1. Lumps in your throat (this is usually felt as if your throat is thicker than usual)
  2. White or red patches on your:
    1. Tongue
    2. Tonsils
    3. Linings of cheeks and gums
  3. Oral numbness
  4. Lesions, cuts, and canker sores that don’t heal within two weeks (it’s common to have some of these after oral surgery and other events, so keep it in mind)
  5. Tongue pain
  6. Loose teeth
  7. Hoarse voice for a long period of time that doesn’t improve
  8. Random tooth discoloration

When to Contact Your Keller, TX Dentist

If you notice any of these signs, please contact our Keller Texas Dentist office immediately to schedule your oral cancer screening. Also, if you haven’t had an oral cancer screening within the past year, we recommend you schedule one on your next dental cleaning visit just to be safe. Oral cancer screenings should be a part of every checkup at Pickett Family Dental.