Oral cancer is a major concern among dental and other health care professionals. It is a serious condition that can become life-threatening if it goes undiagnosed and untreated. At Montes Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Dr. Shelly Montes provides regular oral cancer screenings to help you stay healthy. However, it is important for you to understand the risks and symptoms of oral cancer in Cumming, Georgia, so you can help us catch any cancer early on. Please contact us at 770-781-3685 for more information, and to schedule your appointment with our doctor.

Every year, more than 200,000 people are diagnosed with some form of oral cancer. In many cases, patients are not diagnosed until the cancer is in its later stages; this is often because they fail to receive regular oral cancer screenings. At our practice, we understand the importance of an early diagnosis, which is why we provide routine oral cancer screenings. Although our team does all that we can to protect and preserve your oral health, it is important that you understand and can recognize the risks and symptoms of oral cancer. That way, you can get early treatment and improve your chances of recovery.

Oral cancer symptoms can vary by person, but it can also vary depending on how far the cancer has progressed. Despite its variability, oral cancer has common, fairly universal symptoms, including:

  • White or red patches or sores inside the mouth that you cannot explain. These patches can be clustered or spread out. They are also often mistaken for canker or cold sores.
  • Sores that do not heal in a few days. Canker or cold sores often heal within a week or two; oral cancer sores, however, do not.
  • Inexplicable numbness, tenderness, or bleeding of the gums and mouth.
  • Ear pain, weight loss, and difficulty swallowing. These symptoms are often associated with oral cancer that is more progressed.

Although the symptoms of oral cancer may vary by person, if you experience any of these signs, visit our doctor as soon as possible for an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer can develop in anyone, although those who smoke, and/or drink, or use tobacco are at a higher risk. Those over 50 are also at higher risk, and oral cancer occurs almost twice as often in men than in women. Having a history of cancer in your family can also increase your risk of developing oral cancer. If your family has a history of oral cancer, or if you fit within any of these other areas of increased risk, we recommend that you begin receiving oral cancer screenings right away.

For more information about oral cancer and its risks or symptoms, we invite you to call or visit our practice today.