When it comes to taking care of your mouth, the routine has always been fairly easy to follow. You might not realize that your mouth and overall dental health are suffering until it’s too late. Dental care is an important factor in our overall health. There are warning signs that you should look out for in order to protect yourself. Small changes can be indicators of a bigger and more serious threat. Oral cancer can cause damage to any areas of your mouth including the gums, roof area, the internal tissue lining and, of course, your teeth. Here are six signs that could mean that you have oral cancer.
Patches of Red and White
Oral cancer begins to form on the flat surfaces of the mouth. These cells can cluster together in patches and be an indicator of cancer. If there are mixed white and red patches in your mouth that last more than two weeks, you need to see a dentist. The patches are a sign that there is an abnormal development happening.
Difficulty moving your jaw, whether for speaking or chewing, can be a sign of oral cancer. Cancer cells attack bone and your jaw is no exception. As you lose full function of your jaw, it can be a sign that the cancer is spreading.
The tongue is sometimes a forgotten aspect of maintaining oral health but it is a vital component. If you notice any pain in or around your tongue, it could be cancer. The sores that develop mostly grows under your tongue so be sure to examine that area.
Loss of Teeth
If one of your teeth suddenly becomes loose without any external force, this could be a sign of oral distress. As the cancer grows, your gums weaken and they are not able to continue to be secure around your teeth. If a tooth is loose enough to fall out, the lack of healing would reveal that the cells are dying and cannot repair themselves.
The development of lumps either in the lymph nodes in your neck and throat area or inside your mouth are common signs of mouth cancer. They will appear on their own and make it difficult and even painful for you to swallow.
Unfortunately, for many people, a bit of gum bleeding is normal and usually a sign of gingivitis (another, less dangerous disease that indicates inflamed gums). However, random bleeding paired with numbness can be clear signs to watch for.
Preventative care is often times the best way to treat diseases. If you keep your body healthy, you’ll also be able to keep your mouth healthy. For example, keep your alcohol consumption low and avoid smoking or chewing tobacco as they contain carcinogenic properties. Another great way to prevent any serious mouth issues is to develop a regular schedule with your dentist. You can request a pre-screening for oral cancer every six months.