Elmhurst Dentist Talks About Red Flags When It Comes To Oral Cancers

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jun 8, 2021

One of the reasons that semi-annual dental appointments are so important is so that our Elmhurst dentists can complete oral cancer screenings on all of our patients. The sooner we are able to identify and treat oral cancers, the better the patient’s long-term prognosis. With that in mind, keep reading to learn more about some of the signs and symptoms of cancerous tissues… 

  • Swelling Oral Tissue

Stay alert for oral tissues that look redder or puffier than usual. Reach out to your dentist if this swelling doesn’t resolve within a few days; it could be indicative of a harmful infection or cancerous tissue.

  • Sores

If you develop slow-to-heal sores on the inside or outside of your mouth, then it is time to reach out to your dental team for an assessment. While cold sores and canker sores are quite common, sores that do not heal quickly can be indicative of a larger problem.

  • White or Red Patches

Some cancerous and pre-cancerous tissues present as red or white patches on the insides of your cheeks, around your lips, or on/under your tongue.

  • Numbness

If you lose sensation in any part of your mouth, it is time to schedule a check-up with your dental provider. Not all oral health problems cause pain or sensitivity; on the contrary, some forms of oral cancer actually cause numbness.

  • Trouble Swallowing

Cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions can make it difficult for patients to swallow fully or comfortably. Talk to your dentist if you notice trouble swallowing, pain when swallowing, or an inability to clear food from your airway.

  • Dental Re-alignment

As foundational oral and bone tissues break down your teeth are not held in place as firmly as they once were. Consequently, you may notice that your teeth are shifting along your gum line, and that your bite is changing.

Even if it has been years since you have completed an in-office professional cleaning and assessment, our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to call our office to speak to a member of our team and schedule a personal consultation.