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What are the Signs of Oral Cancer?


Preston Dental Saskatoon Dental Clinic Services

During your oral cancer exam, your dentist or hygienist will be visually assessing and physically palpating areas like the insides of your cheek, sides of the tongue, floor of the mouth, back of the mouth/throat, and lymph nodes in your neck. Some of the most noticeable symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Sores that don’t heal in a timely manner
  • Lumps or bumps on one side of your mouth
  • Fixed nodules under your skin
  • Atypical growths
  • Loss of the “border” around your lip lines
  • Red, white, or spotty areas
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sunken in areas

Notice that pain and discomfort aren’t on the list. Since oral cancer doesn’t usually hurt, it’s easy to overlook. It’s important to look inside your mouth regularly (while you’re brushing and flossing is fine) to take note of any areas that don’t look like they should. When something appears abnormal, watch it for 10-14 days to see if it improves. If it doesn’t, schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as you can.