Early Warning Signs for Oral Cancer

A dental patient receiving an oral cancer screening.

Did you know oral cancers are more common in men than in women? Several factors affect your risk of developing mouth and throat cancer. Tobacco and alcohol use, prolonged sun exposure, and genetics are just a few of these factors. Whether or not you have a history of oral cancer in the family, it’s good to know early warning signs to get care as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn three early warning signs for oral cancer.


    1. Discolored Patch or Sores in the Mouth

    Oral cancer can appear as a white or red patch of tissue in the mouth or a spot that resembles a canker sore. If you notice any discoloration or sore in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks, it is best to get it seen. These patches or sores can be the early stages of oral cancer.


    2. Lump or Mass in the Lips, Mouth, Neck, or Throat

    Many people are unaware that oral cancers are part of a group of cancers, including head and neck cancers. Instead of just looking in your mouth, be aware of any changes in your neck or face. They may be associated with pain but often are not painful at all. Often, lumps or masses are found, and getting them looked at as soon as possible can give you more treatment options.


    3. Loose Teeth & Consistent Mouth Pain

    Loose teeth can be due to trauma, poor oral care, or decay. However, when loose teeth occur outside of these causes, it may be a sign of oral cancer. This is especially true if joined with consistent mouth pain that won’t go away. Mouth pain that causes tenderness without an apparent reason is a good reason to schedule a visit with your dentist.


Oral Cancer Screenings in Puyallup, WA

If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs or know someone looking for a dentist that offers oral cancer screenings in Puyallup, WA, get in touch with our friendly team! At Willow Smiles Dentistry, we offer an array of dental services to help our patients of all ages, including children, to maintain a lifetime of excellent oral health.


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