Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth including the tongue and even the lips. If you are concerned about oral cancer or have noticed some changes in your oral health, here are the most common warning signs of oral cancer that you should look for:
- The most common symptom of oral cancer is a sore or ulcer in the mouth that won’t go away. The sore may also be accompanied by persistent pain.
- White or red patches in your mouth
- Unexpected bleeding or numbness
- Pain when eating or swallowing
- A lump in your mouth or throat
- Loose teeth
If the cancer is left untreated and spreads, you may also notice different symptoms developing. However, remember that the majority of these symptoms can also be indicative of other problems and just noticing one of these symptoms does not mean you have cancer. You need to have your LaGrange dentist Dr. Maragos perform the proper tests in order to offer a reliable diagnosis.
How does Dr. Maragos test for oral cancer?
Dr. Maragos will do a thorough examination of the tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth and front of the throat for any unusual looking tissue (lesion). If there is a lesion we may ask you to return in 2-6 weeks to see if it has changed. If at that time the lesion has not changed we will refer you to an oral surgeon or other surgical specialist for an examination and biopsy.
Oral cancer is very rare but unfortunately it is difficult to treat and can be fatal.