Oral cancer (Mouth Cancer) can occur anywhere in the mouth, surface of the tongue, inside of the cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth, lips, gums, tonsils, and salivary glands. Mouth, head, and neck cancers are grouped in the same category and are often treated similarly.
Signs And Symptoms Of Oral Cancer
- A sore that bleeds and doesn’t heal for over 3 weeks
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Tongue pain
- Growth, lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth
- Loose teeth with no apparent reason
- Prolonged sore throat
- Jaw pain or stiffness that causes difficulty in chewing and swallowing
Causes Of Oral Cancer
Mouth cancer occurs when the cells on your lips or in your mouth develop mutations. These allow cancer cells to grow and exterminate the healthy cells. The accumulating mouth cancer cells can form a tumor that may eventually spread to other areas of the head and neck.
Who Are At Risk?
Oral cancer mostly happens after the age of 40 and occurs twice as high in men as it is in women. Factors that can increase the risks are:
- Tobacco use
- Excessive exposure to the sun
- Heavy alcohol use
- Weakened immune system
- Sexually transmitted virus
If you notice any persistent signs and symptoms, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately.