There are a number of different risk factors that can lead to oral cancer, such as smoking (or other tobacco products), excessive drinking, a history of oral cancer and HPV. One of the most common signs of oral cancer is red or white lesion in the mouth that just won't go away. This is not the only symptom, though. There are other, less common signs that could point to oral cancer.
Having a sore throat, or a hoarse voice, is often attributed to having a cold or other virus. While this can be true, you should keep an eye on it. If it does not go away in a week or so, you should head to your dentist for an exam.
Having trouble chewing, or moving your jaw in general, often points to an issue with the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. This joint connects your upper and lower jaws, and is responsible for the motion of the lower portion. Jaw pain usually means that the joint is inflamed. Difficulty chewing can also be a symptom of oral cancer. Any jaw pain should be addressed by your dentist.
Changes in Denture FitIf you wear dentures, you know that your jaw is likely to change shape over time, as the bone mass in your jaw deteriorates. But changes in the way your dentures fit could also be a sign of oral cancer. You may notice your gums have swollen, or it hasn't been that long since you received your dentures. Regardless, you should schedule an appointment.
Early detection is crucial to successful treatment for oral cancer. You are screened during your normal dental visits, even if you don't know it. Even still, if you notice any changes in your mouth in between visits, do not hesitate to contact our office right away.