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Signs of Oral Cancer

Signs of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer usually originates in the soft tissues of the mouth. It is typically only found in one area of the mouth, though it may spread to other areas as it grows. It is one of the most common forms of cancer, with about 42,000 Americans diagnosed each year. It’s often caught late, and survival rates are very low, with less than 50% surviving five years beyond diagnosis. 

Here are the signs you need to look into:

Sores and Lumps

Any sore that does not heal within two weeks should be examined. An oral cancer screening can help determine if a sore is cancerous. They may be hard, painful, or bleed easily.

In addition to checking sores and lumps, the dentist will also look for any abnormalities in the tissues of the mouth.

Red or White Patches

Oral cancers often appear on the lips, tongue, or inside mouth. These areas tend to show the first signs of oral cancer. If you notice sores or discolored areas on your mouth that don’t go away, then talk to your dentist in Oakland, CA.

Red or white patches are common signs of oral cancer. These spots often seem like sores that don’t go away. These patches may be sore or sensitive.

Thickening of Soft Tissues

Oral cancer can spread to tissues around the mouth, including your gums. This is why it is important to watch for signs of oral cancer. If you notice that your gums are thickening, see your dentist in Oakland, CA, right away. This is a sign that you may have oral cancer.

Numbness or Tingling

Some patients suffer from a tingling or numbness sensation in their mouth. This may be caused by pressure or trauma to a tooth. A root canal therapy or extraction may be needed. Tooth sensitivity can often be treated through medication, gum rejuvenation, or the placement of a dental crown.

Difficulty Chewing or Swallowing

Sudden changes in your diet, eating habits, or chewing patterns can be signs of oral cancer. If you experience any of these changes, you should visit the dentist in Oakland, CA, as soon as possible.

Difficulty chewing or swallowing can stem from a number of medical conditions. For example, you may have a sore throat, a dry mouth, or you may have had dental work. However, since the face is so close to the mouth, swallowing difficulties can be a sign of oral cancer.

Ear Pain

Oral cancer causes pain in other parts of the head and neck. This includes the ears. If you experience ear pain, talk to your physician or dentist in Oakland, CA. They may recommend a physical exam to check for any related conditions.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can be caused by a variety of issues, and jaw pain can also be an early symptom of oral cancer. If you experience jaw pain that doesn’t go away after a couple of days, contact our dentist in Oakland, CA.

Persistent Sore Throat

The persistent sore throat could be from cancer that’s spreading to the lymph nodes in the neck. People who smoke are at higher risk of developing oral cancer. Sore throats can also be from an infection, such as strep throat. If you experience a sore throat that lasts longer than a week, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist in Oakland, CA.

Coughing Up

Green or black mucus or phlegm that comes up while sleeping or coughing. Green or yellow mucus that comes up while eating or talking. Blood in the mucus.

To learn more about best practices for oral health, call Bay Area Dental at (510) 350-8187 or visit our dental office at 3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609. Book your appointment with our dentist in Oakland, CA, to achieve the smile you have always wished for.


3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609

Office Hours

MON Closed

TUE 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

WED Closed

THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

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Phone: (510) 350-8187