Oral cancer may occur anywhere in your oral cavity, including your tongue, cheeks, the roof of your mouth, gums, and even your lips. One of the key factors in treating the condition is early detection. At Las Cruces Dental Solutions in Las Cruces, NM, we check for oral cancer at your routine dental exams. Here a few warning signs to watch out for:
Sores, Lumps, Thickened Skin, or Discoloration Inside Your Mouth
While there are other causes of sores and lumps in your mouth besides cancer, you should watch those areas to see if they heal. Generally, a mouth sore should resolve itself within 10 days. If you notice that the lump, thickened skin, or sore isn’t going away, it’s best to schedule an appointment with our team.
Sometimes, oral cancer appears as a white or red patch inside of your mouth. You may have more than one of these patches, and they can vary in size. While other issues can cause red or white patches, you should visit a dentist for a thorough evaluation of these patches.
Numbness or Pain
Cancer can cause pain or numbness as a result of the abnormal cells pushing on the nerves. You may have pain or numbness at the site where you have a lump, sore, or discolored patch of skin. However, the pain or numbness may arise without any other signs.
Oral cancer can loosen your teeth. It could even lead to you losing teeth. It’s important if you have loose teeth to visit Las Cruces Dental Solutions for an evaluation. Even if it’s not cancer, loose teeth could be an indication that you have severe gum disease that requires treatment.
Oral Cancer Screening in Las Cruces, NM
To screen for oral cancer, we’ll look and feel for abnormalities like lumps, spots, or ulcers in your mouth. If you have any areas that seem suspicious, we may suggest further testing, like swabs or biopsies. But don’t worry–we’ll talk you through the entire process so it’s as comfortable and stress-free as possible!