Cancer can develop in any part of the mouth including the tongue, gums, tonsils, lining of the mouth, lips and upper part of the throat. It is more common in men than women and is rare in people under 40.

Early signs of mouth cancer do not cause pain or discomfort but they can be seen. It is therefore important to check your mouth for any changes.

Look out for the following Top 10 Signs and Symptoms:

  1. A sore or ulcer in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.
  2. A lump or overgrowth of tissue anywhere in the mouth.
  3. A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth.
  4. Difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
  5. Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
  6. Feeling there is something caught in the throat.
  7. A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks.
  8. Swelling of the jaw causing dentures to become uncomfortable.
  9. Neck swelling present for more than 3 weeks.
  10. Unexplained tooth mobility lasting more than 3 weeks.

Reduce the risks by:

  1. Not smoking or chewing tobacco, gutka/paan.
  2. Drinking less alcohol.
  3. Having a healthier ‘low meat, low fat’ diet, rich in vegetables and fruit.
  4. Visiting the dentist at least once a year.

For more information, visit the Mouth Cancer Foundation website www.mouthcancerfoundation.org and its online support group.

Your Complete Guide to Perfect Dental Health

A comprehensive guide written by Dr Priti Joshi

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  • Spotting Oral Cancer
  • How to keep your gums healthy
  • Maintaining Healthy Teeth
  • When to bring your kids to the dentist
  • Avoiding Tooth Loss
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