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Over the past few weeks, we have been trying to educate our patients about oral cancer, a serious challenge to oral health and overall wellness. We have talked about things like potential risk factors and highlighted the importance of getting regularly screened. In today’s post, we are going to identify some of the early warning signs of oral cancer so you can know what to look for.

The great danger of oral cancer comes from it routinely going undiscovered until late in its development. And even when it does manifest symptoms, they can be easily ignored or confused with something else. A good idea is to get any abnormality examined if it doesn’t go away after 14 days. Know that most oral cancer occurs in the front area of the mouth, but it can appear anywhere in the oral cavity.

Some of the most common symptoms are red or white patches in the mouth. Another one is a small, canker-like ulcer. Because these seem so benign, you can see why they might be overlooked or ignored. Other signs include lumps or masses that can be felt in the neck and mouth, lack of feeling in the mouth and face and difficulty or pain while chewing, swallowing, or speaking. Persistent hoarseness and ear ache can also be signs.

Oral cancer is a serious concern, and you shouldn’t just assume that signs, even as benign as many of its symptoms, will just go away and work themselves out. If you have any unexplained irregularities in your mouth, please contact our dentists at Red Mountain Family Dental. Early detection is the best way to effectively treat and beat oral cancer.