Oral Cancer

Oral and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kill nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. Of the people newly diagnosed with these cancers, 40 percent will not survive longer than five years. Moreover, many who do survive suffer long-term problems, such as severe facial disfigurement or difficulties with eating and speaking.

Your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. In between dental visits, it is important for you to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and to see your dentist if they do not improve or disappear after two-three weeks. Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:

  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • A sore that bleeds
  • A growth, lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Tongue pain
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Difficult or painful chewing
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Sore throat