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While the survival rate for oral cancer is certainly higher than most cancers (half of people in America diagnosed with oral cancer survive after detection and treatment) it’s still a serious problem about which you should be aware.

Dr. Bruce Utterback and Pia Sweeney at Sweeney Utterback Dentistry is always on the lookout for early signs of oral cancer, but you can help your dentist as well by keeping these three warning signs in mind.

Sores, swellings, lumps, or thick patches

If you notice any sores, swellings, lumps or thick patches of tissue anywhere if your mouth – including the lips, tongue, throat, pharynx, larynx, and sinuses – then you need immediate attention.

However, sometimes these symptoms can be the result of a cold or sinus infection. It’s best to visit a doctor if any of the issues persist for longer than 2 weeks.

Ear pain

Believe it nor, but ear pain can be a symptom of oral cancer. If you have any sort of persistent ear pain that isn’t accompanied by hearing loss, or doesn’t go away in the time an ear infection would normally disappear, please see a professional right away.

Loose teeth

If you have loose teeth that begin to feel as though they’ll fall out, but you’re diligent with your oral health routine, then you need to visit a doctor. This is a surefire sign of a serious problem.

Oral cancer isn’t something to take lightly. The earlier you can detect it, the better off you’ll be. If you have any questions, or want an oral cancer screening for peace of mind, call us today at 757.222.3737 to schedule an appointment.