Early Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

early signs of oral cancer

early signs of oral cancerServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN

No one wants to talk about cancer. It’s is a scary subject that tragically causes millions of premature deaths across the globe and is the second most common cause of death on our planet, according to the World Health Organization. Certain types of cancer get more attention than others. Oral cancer is one of the lesser-known types of cancer, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as serious. Avoiding the subject can only leave you and the people you love at risk for not knowing the warning signs. That is why your Jonesborough family dentists Drs. Craig Shepherd and Nathaniel Renner at Tusculum Dental Care created this list of the early warning signs for oral cancer.

Preventing Oral Cancer

The best way to prevent oral cancer is by having your dentists perform an oral cancer screening at each of your dental check-ups, which should take place every six months. From the roof of your mouth to under your tongue, the dentists at Tusculum Dental Care can perform a thorough oral cancer exam. Maybe you’re waiting for your next dental appointment, and you still want to examine your mouth and look for anything suspicious. Perhaps you currently have an area of your mouth that is concerning you.

In either case, you should be aware of the most common signs or symptoms of oral cancer, including:

  • Patches in the mouth are red or white in color, flat, and painless
  • A sore in your mouth that bleeds easily
  • Hardened thick lumps or spots
  • A roughened or crusted area on the lip or other tissue in the mouth
  • Numbness
  • Pain and/or tenderness
  • Changes in the alignment of your teeth
  • Problems chewing, swallowing, or speaking

The Realities of Oral Cancer

Cancers that affect the mouth, gums, tongue, or tissue in the oral cavity, including the lips, all classify as types of oral cancer. Every year there are more than 49,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed. Meanwhile, oral cancers, on average, kill one person every hour of every day, 365 days a year. Only half of those who find out they have oral cancer are still alive five years after their diagnosis. These numbers, which come from the Oral Cancer Foundation, are troubling and underscore why prevention is your best defense against oral cancer. A major reason that oral cancer is so deadly is that it isn’t diagnosed in time, not because it’s untreatable. The survival rates significantly increase for patients who receive a diagnosis during the early stages of oral cancer before it can spread to other areas of the body, such as the lymph nodes.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Greeneville

You can’t afford to wait to receive an oral cancer screening. Your life literally may depend on it. To schedule your oral cancer screening with the dental professionals at Tusculum Dental Care, you can reach our offices by phone at (423) 639-7575. Our state-of-the-art facility is here to serve your needs in the areas of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greenville, TN. Schedule your first annual oral cancer screening now as part of your next regular dental check-up.