Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer includes cancer in the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, sinuses, throat, and hard and soft palates. Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells—these cells invade and damage tissue. Oral cancer is often manifest in a sore that will not go away.

Common Oral Cancer Symptoms:

  • Jaw swelling
  • Change in voice
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty moving tongue and jaw
  • Struggling to swallow or chew
  • Sore throat
  • White and red patches in the mouth or lips
  • Mouth pain
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Mouth sores that don’t heal
  • Pain in the ears without loss of hearing
  • Loose teeth

Oral Cancer Screening

Screenings for oral cancer and quick and painless. As is always the case with cancer, it’s much more manageable if you catch it early on. During a typical check up at your dentist, they should also be visually scanning your mouth and lips for any outward signs. Your dentist may also palpate your neck and jaw to examine. These screenings should be done every six months. If you notice any potential symptoms of oral cancer, discuss it with your dentist. They will likely refer you to an oral surgeon if there is anything suspicious—that’s where we come in. At Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah, we specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Our experienced surgeons are at the top of their game—we will help you through the process from diagnosis to surgery and ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.

Oral Cancer Treatment

If a dentist suspects cancer, they will likely recommend a biopsy of the area. If there is a diagnosis of cancer, surgery is often a good option. Radiation and chemotherapy treatment may also be recommended. Most treatments for oral cancers are multidisciplinary.

Your individual treatment will differ based on your diagnosis. Whether you need surgery, therapy, another treatment, or some combination there are will depend on the type of your cancer and what stage it’s in.

Patients with oral cancers that are caught and treated in the early stages experience little to no post treatment disfigurement. However, patients with extensive cancer growth may need to have portions of their oral cavity or facial features removed to effectively remove the cancer and prevent further growth.

Oral Cancer Prevention

Preventing oral cancer is as simple as practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep your mouth healthy. Preventing tooth decay and gum disease can help to prevent oral cancer. You should also be sure to use fluoride toothpaste to ensure maximum oral health.

If you are in need of oral surgery, come see us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. Our professional surgeons have years of experience. Your comfort is our top priority. Come see us to learn more.