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3 Early Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

March 29, 2021 5:06 pm | Published by

Oral cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of mutated cells in your lips, gums, tongue, the roof of your mouth, and other areas. At every routine dental exam, our team checks for any signs or symptoms in your mouth. If we find something unusual, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s cancer, but knowing the early warning signs helps you take action quickly. Here are three signs to watch for.

  1. White or Red Patches
  2. A white or red patch in your mouth could be a sign of cancer. It could also be thrush, a fungal infection, which we would also want to treat. A patch could affect your tongue, cheek lining, or your gums.

  3. Sores That Don’t Heal
  4. Persistent sores that bleed easily or don’t heal are a common symptom of oral cancer. If you notice irritations or tender areas in your throat or mouth, give us a call. Generally, it’s important to see a dentist for sores that don’t heal within two weeks.

  5. Pain or Numbness
  6. Pain, tenderness, or numbness are key signs that something is wrong. It doesn’t necessarily point to something as serious as cancer, but pain/numbness is not something to ignore. You’ll want to know what’s going on as soon as possible.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can happen to anyone, but some factors increase a person’s risk. Smoking, tobacco use, and heavy drinking are the top factors. Hanging out in the sun for long periods can also increase your risk. Wearing sunscreen is an important preventive action.

Preventive Care at Mauka Family Dental

Regular oral cancer screenings at Mauka Family Dental can give you peace of mind. When you visit our Mililani office for a routine exam, we’ll always check for anything unusual. If you’re at an increased risk because of your health history or lifestyle, we’ll be extra thorough! Early detection is key. Our dentists, Dr. Kim and Dr. Wee, prioritize comfort and peace of mind with all our treatments. If you have questions about our services or want to talk about the warning signs of oral cancer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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