April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and we wanted to remind our patients of some of the commons signs and symptoms of oral cancer.

In its early stages, oral cancer often goes unnoticed. While it may be painless and go unnoticed by the patient, dentists can often see or feel the precursor tissue changes or even the actual cancer in early stages. Here are a few possible signs of oral cancer:

  • A white or red patch of tissue in the month
  • A small indurated ulcer that appears to be a canker sore
  • A lump or mass that can be felt in the mouth or neck
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing, speaking or chewing
  • Prolonged hoarseness
  • Numbness in the facial region
  • Persistent ear aches

If you have a sore or discolored area of your mouth that hasn’t healed for 14 days, please contact us. If you think you’re experiencing any of the other symptoms of oral cancer, we’d be happy to discuss. Historically the death rate associated with oral cancer is high not because the cancer is hard to discover, but because the cancer is too often discovered late in its development.

Read more about oral cancer fact from the Oral Cancer Foundation here: http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/