April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and dental associations urge the public to get regular oral cancer screenings, and to self-check between examinations.
It is recommended to regularly self-check for signs and symptoms of oral cancer between dental visits, and to see a dental professional if you have symptoms that do not improve or disappear after two-three weeks.
Some of the most common symptoms and signs of oral cancer include:
- Patches inside your mouth or on your lips that are white, a mixture of red and white, or red.
- A sore on your lip or in your mouth that won’t heal.
- Bleeding in your mouth.
- Loosening of the teeth.
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing, chewing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.
- Swelling of your jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.
- A lump or growth in your throat or neck.
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness on the lips, tongue, or elsewhere in the mouth.
- Hoarseness or other changes in your voice.
- Cough or sore throat that will not go away, or the feeling that something is caught in the throat that does not go away.
- An earache.
Early detection saves lives!