What Are the First Signs of Oral Cancer?

What Are the First Signs of Oral Cancer?

Visiting Dental Care of Madison for your routine, twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy smile. During your visits, we conduct thorough exams to identify signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other potential concerns. We also offer quick and painless oral cancer screenings to detect any abnormalities in their earliest stages, ensuring the best possible treatment outcomes.

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer can appear anywhere on the tongue, gums, lips, cheek lining, roof, and floor of the mouth, as well as the back of the throat. It often goes undetected until it's in its advanced stages, which is why it has a high mortality rate. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year, with only half of them expected to be alive in five years.

These statistics may seem grim, but there’s good news - early detection saves lives. That's why our team at Dental Care of Madison performs twice-yearly oral cancer screenings to look for signs of abnormal tissues. Remember, your dentist is your first line of defense against oral cancer, so if you haven't had a screening lately, the time to schedule one is now!

What Are the First Signs of Oral Cancer?

The following are the early signs of oral cancer: Swelling or sores that bleed easily or do not heal Visible red and white patches in the mouth, tongue, or gums Hard or thick spots or lumps Crusted, rough, or eroded patches in the mouth Pain, tenderness, or numbness in the mouth Jaw pain or stiffness Difficulty talking, chewing, or swallowing A hoarse voice Changes in the position of the teeth

These above warning signs don't necessarily mean an oral cancer diagnosis. However, if you have any persistent symptoms that last more than two weeks, we recommend scheduling an oral cancer screening. The earlier oral cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcomes.

What Happens During Your Oral Cancer Screening?

During your oral cancer screening, we will ask if you have noticed any changes in how you speak, chew, swallow, or move your tongue or mouth or if you have any concerns. We will look for signs of concerning tissues and closely examine your oral cavity and the surrounding muscles to rule out potential abnormalities. Oral cancer screenings are gentle and comfortable, and most importantly, they save lives.

Oral Cancer Screenings Near Me in Madison, MS

If you haven't seen a dentist lately, we invite you to contact Dental Care of Madison to schedule a consultation. Our dedicated team will evaluate your oral health and perform an oral cancer screening to ensure you enjoy long-term oral and overall health. Call us at (601) 898-9390 to schedule an appointment or request one online today!