How can you know if you have oral Cancer?

There are few things as nerve-wracking as potential cancer and oral cancer is no different. And while it can be very serious, it’s important to stay calm and speak with your doctor. When caught early, oral cancer is much more treatable and so it’s important that you recognize the early signs. This guide will explain everything you need to know.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is no different from other forms of cancer in that it is the growth of cells that cause damage to surrounding parts of the body. For oral cancer, in particular, it appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that will continue to persist. It can affect all areas of the mouth and is very serious, particularly when not found early.



These are some of the symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Swellings, lumps or bumps, rough spots, and eroded areas inside the mouth
  • White, red, or both patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms then it’s imperative to speak to your doctor immediately.

Factors That May Cause Cancer

There are a number of factors that have been identified as being able to cause oral cancer. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Using smokeless tobacco
  • Family history of cancer
  • Overexposure to sun
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)


Oral cancer screenings are a part of your regular dental checkups. Your dentist will feel for irregular lumps or changes in your mouth. If anything appears unusual, then your dentist may order a biopsy which may be performed with a brush, scalpel, or even later.

To learn more about oral cancer exam in Rapid City, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics


Treatment of oral cancer will form a plan of surgery to remove the cancerous cells and then radiation or chemotherapy to eradicate other traces of cancer.

To find an oral surgeon, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics


There are things you can do to help prevent the chances of getting oral cancer. You can avoid dangerous behavior like drinking, smoking and over-exposure to sunlight. Additionally, you should have regular dental checkups and perform regular self-exams (using a mirror to look for changes in the tissue).


Oral cancer is, of course, a serious issue. However, with the right combination of regular dental checkups, avoidance of dangerous behavior and being vigilant about potential symptoms, you can improve your chances of either catching it early or avoiding it altogether. 

When dealing with issues like cancer, you’ll want a top professional by your side. Dakota Regional Periodontics is one of the premier experts in oral cancer in South Dakota. An esteemed member of the South Dakota Dental Association, they have the perfect blend of expertise and experience to ensure your wellbeing.

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