Three signs your mouth ulcer is cancerous

One of the primary symptoms of mouth cancer relates to the ulcers in the mouth. If these are painful and do not heal within several weeks, it could be a sign of mouth cancer. Furthermore, lumps that are unexplained, persistent or do not go away, are also signs of the condition say the NHS. Unexplainable loose teeth or tooth sockets that don’t heal after extractions are other symptoms of mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is one of the least common cancers in the US or UK, but it’s essential to know the symptoms.  Additionally, a person with the disease may feel a persistent numbness on the lip or tongue. Occasionally, red, or white patches may appear on the lining of the tongue or mouth in patients with mouth cancer. Read more about variables that impact your oral health.

Person smiling and mouth.

The final symptom of mouth cancer is changes in a person’s speech, such as a lisp.

Other symptoms of mouth cancer include:
• Pain or difficulty swallowing
• Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
• Difficulty moving the jaw
• Changes in the voice.

Similarly to other cancers, there are different types of mouth cancer. Each form of mouth cancer is named after the cell that the cancer starts to grow in. The most common form of mouth cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer makes up 90 percent of mouth cancer cases.

Squamous cell carcinoma can be found in the skin as well as inside the mouth. Other types of mouth cancer include adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, oral malignant melanoma and lymphoma. Adenocarcinoma develops inside the salivary glands. Sarcoma is a cancer that develops out of abnormalities in bone, cartilage, muscle and other tissue.

Mouth cancer infographic.

Factors that increase a person’s risk of mouth cancer and oral health include:
• Smoking
• Chewing tobacco
• Drinking alcohol
• HPV virus infection
• Unhealthy diet
• Bad oral hygiene.

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