You should see your dentist regularly and have him or her screen you for mouth cancer. Your dentist can easily detect and inform you of any ‘red flags’ because mouth cancer often has no symptoms, especially in the initial stages. This is especially true if you smoke, use snuff or chewing tobacco, or you drink excessively.
If you are infected with the above things, they will likely be in the precancerous stage. Some types of precancer include:
- Mouth lichen planus
Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
You likely have this if you develop white patches that don’t disappear either naturally or when rubbed.
Mouth lichen planus
You have this if you have many white lines that are either ulcerous or have red borders.
You should always ask your dentist for his or her professional opinion and advice if you see signs of leukoplakia or mouth lichen planus in your mouth because it could be a sign of mouth cancer. However, note that symptoms of either type of precancer are no guarantee that you will eventually develop mouth cancer.
You will find symptoms of the following if you develop mouth cancer:
- Red or reddish-white patches on the insides of your mouth and tongue
- Mouth pain or spontaneous bleeding and a numb mouth
- Non-healing sores or ulcers
- Thicker gums and a thicker lining of your mouth
- Lumps in either your gums or insides of your mouth
- Teeth that spontaneously become loose or fall out
- Dentures that don’t fit
- Swelling of your jaw
- Sore throat or the constant feeling of a lump in your throat
- Hoarse voice
- Difficulty in eating
- Difficulty in talking
- Constant pain in your ear(s)