Oral Cancer is Unfortunately Increasing

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, causing close to 11,000 deaths.

Oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as in women. While there’s no routine test to diagnose oral cancer, the disease can be found during routine screenings by your dental specialist. Signs and symptoms of oral cancer can include the following: (Please note that these signs and symptoms can also be caused by other issues)

  • White or red patch on gums, tongue, tonsil or mouth lining
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving jaw or tongue
  • Sore mouth or mouth pain
  • Sore throat or feeling of something caught in throat that doesn’t heal/go away
  • Numbness in the mouth or tongue
  • Jaw swelling
  • Voice changes
  • Loosening of teeth or teeth/jaw pain
  • Lump or mass in the neck
  • Weight loss
  • Constant bad breath

Tobacco and alcohol are the largest risk factors. Smoking and drinking together are estimated to increase the risk of oral cancer up to 30x.