April is national Oral Cancer Awareness month.
At Knoxville Smiles, our dentists and hygienists want you to be aware of the first symptoms of oral cancer so you can call us between dental visits for an immediate examination. If you observe any of the following signs that could be the beginning of a cancerous growth, call us for an oral cancer screening:
- Reddish patches or whitish patches in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A rough spot, lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- Numbness in the tongue or other part of the mouth
- Swelling of the jaw
- Unexplained pain facial or oral pain, although pain is not often associated with oral cancer
Keep in mind that anyone can get cancer of the face, mouth, throat, head or neck. Be observant and proactive by examining your mouth every month with a hand-held mirror. Report changes you feel with your tongue. As with any cancer, the earlier the oral cancer is detected, the better the treatment outcome will be.