Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of people. Fortunately, the chances of survival are high if the disease is caught early, which is another reason you should see your dentist at least twice a year to get checked.

Even though your dentist checks for signs of mouth cancer during your regular exam, it is important to know what the symptoms are so you can check for signs yourself and bring your dentist’s attention to anything you notice.

Symptoms of mouth cancer

Mouth cancer can occur in different parts of the mouth, so you need to do a thorough search when looking for signs of the disease. The most common symptoms are:

  • A lingering sore throat or feeling there is something stuck in your throat
  • White or red lesions in your mouth or on your lips
  • Loose teeth despite not having any dental issues
  • Pain in your jaw or tongue when talking, chewing or swallowing
  • Swelling in your mouth that makes it difficult to put on your dentures
  • Lump in your cheeks
  • Weight loss
  • Change in voice

How do you get mouth cancer?

When it comes to oral cancer, there is no definitive reason why people get it. However, there are a few things that increase your chances of getting it:

  • Smoking or the use of other tobacco products is one of the leading factors that can put you at risk of getting mouth cancer. According to the Mouth Cancer Association, 90 percent of the people diagnosed with mouth cancer use tobacco
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol is another leading factor that puts you at risk of getting oral cancer. People who consume a lot of alcohol and use tobacco products are more at risk of getting the disease than other people who do not use either of the two
  • Your eating habits can also put you at risk of mouth cancer, especially if you do not eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
  • Overexposure to the sun can also lead to cancer of the lips
  • In recent years, the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, HPV16, has been linked to mouth cancer

Getting tested for mouth cancer

As previously mentioned, your dentist will perform a mouth cancer check when you go in for your dental exam, but you can also specifically request a cancer screening to be safe. If your dentist notices anything during the screening, they will order a biopsy to confirm if it is indeed cancer.

If the test comes back positive, you may require surgery to treat the cancerous area, followed by chemotherapy treatments.

Can I prevent mouth cancer?

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent getting cancer. However, you can reduce your chances of getting it by practicing good oral hygiene, eating healthy and avoiding tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption.


Getting diagnosed with mouth cancer can be a scary experience, but your chances of survival are very good if it is caught early. Make sure you perform routine mouth cancer checks on yourself and visit your dentist regularly so you can catch it before it worsens.

Request an appointment here: or call Gables Exceptional Dentistry at (305) 203-4132 for an appointment in our Coral Gables office.

Recent Posts

The 3 Major Signs Of Oral Cancer

Do you feel a sore in your mouth that just won’t go away? You may want to get that checked out as soon as possible since it might be a sign of oral cancer. A statistic from the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), states that half of oral cancer patients in the US…

All About Dental X-Rays: Are They Safe?

Dental X-rays are an important part of the diagnosis and treatment of oral health problems. When you start seeing a new dentist, they will ask you for recent X-rays and dental records. If you do not have any, the dentist will take X-ray images of your teeth and jaws.What tends to worry people the most…

Visit Our Laser Dentistry Office For A Dental Cleaning In Coral Gables

In our laser dentistry office, we can provide you with a dental cleaning in Coral Gables that is far more comfortable than a standard tooth cleaning. We understand the value of preventative dental care and encourage our patients to receive teeth cleanings twice a year. Teeth cleanings help keep bacteria at bay, while also removing…

Schedule A Bad Breath Treatment With A Family Dentist

Have you visited a family dentist lately? If your breath is starting to smell, this may be an indication that it is time to come in. While most bad breath jokes tend to focus on last night's garlic fries, bad breath can actually be a direct reflection of your health. It can symbolize a physical…

Recent Posts

The Differences Between CEREC Crowns And Lab Made Crowns

The Differences Between CEREC Crowns And Lab-Made Crowns

When you are in need of one or more dental crowns, it is always a good idea that you look into all of your available crown options. This includes knowing what you should do when one or more of your teeth are at risk of being lost, as a crown can make your teeth stronger.…

Cosmetic Dentistry Tips &#    ; Ways To Keep Your Smile Bright

Cosmetic Dentistry Tips - Ways To Keep Your Smile Bright

Cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly important, because people want to keep their smile looking great. Fortunately, there are many cosmetic dental solutions for making teeth look amazing, as well as a number of things one can do to keep teeth healthy.A lot of people love candy, but foods like this can actually be quite harmful…