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Should I talk to my doctor about my mouth cancer symptoms?

Yes, you should talk to your doctor about your mouth cancer symptoms if they last more than a few weeks. There are conditions other than cancer that your symptoms may be indicative of. It is important to identify and treat mouth cancer to ensure proper precautions are taken to minimize its impact.

You should talk to your doctor or dentist about any mouth cancer symptoms immediately so they can be diagnosed and treated early. Symptoms associated with mouth and oral cancer, such as loose teeth, difficulty swallowing, and bleeding inside the mouth may be caused by another health problem not related to mouth cancer.

However, if you do have cancer, early detection is important to determine the best treatment, reduce the possibility of the cancer spreading to other parts of your body, and to increase the chances of survival. 
Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw. During your dental visit, your dentist can talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer.

Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
  • sores that bleed easily or do not heal
  • a thick or hard spot or lump
  • a roughened or crusted area
  • numbness, pain or tenderness
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.