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Early Signs of Oral Cancer to Look Out For

Did you know that your dentist checks for oral cancer? Not many people do. Part of their routine check-up involves an examination of your oral cavity, neck, and head for any signs of potential cancers. This is good news for patients, as oral cancer can be treated if caught early, and you’re getting a quick health check every time you visit your dentist. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of the signs to look out for on your own. The sooner you detect oral cancer, the sooner you can get medical attention.

Here are some of the signs you should look out for and report to your healthcare professional if ever detected.


If you spot any lumps in your oral cavity, you should immediately call your doctor. Swollen glands that persist longer than a week should also be reported as soon as possible.

Prolonged Throat Pain

Unusual and prolonged soreness or a feeling that something is caught in your throat that has lasted more than two weeks is something worth mentioning to your doctor. And if at any time you find that you are having difficulty swallowing, you should call your physician right away.

Tongue And Jaw Issues

Any difficulty moving the tongue or jaw, or numbness in these areas, is cause for concern. White or red patches on your tongue may also indicate potential cancers, so make sure you see your dentist or doctor if any abnormalities are noticed. Plus, if you have dentures and are experiencing any swelling of the jaw you should have your dentist take a look to ensure there aren’t any other underlying problems beyond a poorly fitting denture.

Pain In Ears

When you have pain in one ear but without the loss of hearing, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. If the issue doesn’t clear up promptly, it’s wise to visit your doctor for an examination.


Lesions are never a good sign. White or red lesions inside your mouth, inside the lips, or on your gums should be reported immediately. Abnormal patches have the potential to become cancerous, so the sooner you address these patches, the better your chances are.

Persistent Bad Breath

Believe it or not, bad breath can also be a sign of early-stage cancer. As horrible as it is, a symptom like changes to your breath can be a life-saver if reported soon enough.

Knowing what to look for and visiting your dentist for regular screenings can help detect any early signs of oral cancer and ensure you are taken care of before they become a real problem. Whenever in doubt, make an appointment with your healthcare professional to have any issues examined.

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