November is Mouth Cancer Action Month, which means your dentists at Hometown Dental want to take a moment to share information about the early signs of mouth cancer and what can be done to help prevent it from happening to you.

When you go in for your regular check-up, your dentist looks for early signs of mouth cancer during the course of your visit. When it is caught early enough, the chances of successful treatment for oral cancer are very high. It’s also important for you to recognize them yourself so you can bring these symptoms to the attention of your dentist as soon as possible.

Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth. This includes your throat, lips, tongue, the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and even your sinuses. Because early detection of oral cancer is crucial in overcoming this disease, you’ll want to visit your doctor immediately if you have any of the following persistent symptoms for more than two weeks

  • Sores, swellings, lumps or thick patches anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
  • Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips
  • The feeling of a lump or object stuck in your throat
  • Swellings that make wearing dentures uncomfortable
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness anywhere in your mouth, including your tongue
  • Pain in one of your ears but without any loss of hearing
  • Trouble moving your jaw or tongue, or problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause
  • A lingering sore throat or hoarseness

Prevention with Dental Hygiene

You should practice daily oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure to brush regularly with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and consume a limited amount of sweets. By regulating certain lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol use and sun exposure, you can significantly lower your risk of developing oral cancer.

When you know what to look for and see your dentist for regular screenings, the early signs of mouth cancer described above can be identified and taken care of before they become a serious problem.

If you have more questions about dental health and mouth cancer, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local family dentist at HomeTown Dental. Schedule a dental cleaning today, and make sure you’re in good dental health.

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