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McCall Family Dentistry
A Great Dentist

Oral Cancer: Know the Signs

August 30, 2019
Posted By: Lindsey McCall

Oral cancer is a cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or throat.  This area includes your lips, throat, tongue, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses.  The good news is that oral cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.  However, patients should take any signs of oral cancer seriously.  There were an estimated 51,000 cases of diagnosed oral cancer in the U.S. in 2018.  Men are more likely to develop this type of cancer, and signs of it can vary from person to person.

At McCall Family Dentistry, we screen for early signs during regular check ups, but it is important for patients to recognize possible symptoms and report them to Dr. Ryan as soon as possible.  Oral cancer symptoms can be mistaken for other problems, so if you have any concerns make sure to tell Dr. Ryan.  Often, these symptoms will persist for a sustained amount of time.  These include:

  •   Persistent mouth sore(s) that doesn’t heal
  •   Persistent mouth pain
  •   Lump or thickening in the cheek
  •   White or red patch on gums, tonsils, tongue or lining of the mouth
  •   Sore throat or persistent feeling that something is caught in the throat
  •   Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  •   Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  •   Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
  •   Jaw swelling
  •   Loosening of the teeth
  •   Pain in the teeth or jaw
  •   Voice changes
  •   Lump in the neck
  •   Weight loss
  •   Persistent bad breath

Lifestyle changes can also help to prevent oral cancer, number one, not smoking or quitting smoking is key.  In addition, you can limit sun exposure and wear a lip balm with SPF, eat a balanced diet, drink in moderation, remove and clean dentures nightly and practice good oral health habits.  Be sure to tell Dr. Ryan if you are concerned and he can do an oral health exam.  McCall Family Dentistry cares about our patients health, make sure to be aware of signs and symptoms of oral cancer.  



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