Oral Cancer Awareness Month: Do You Know the Warning Signs

oral cancer Over 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the US. While not as prevalent as breast, prostate, or lung cancer, this group of cancers is still responsible for nearly 2% of all cancer deaths. And like all cancers, early detection is the key to successful treatment. Dental exams are the easiest way to catch oral cancer early.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Unlike other more specific cancers, oral cancer refers to any of a number of cancers that happen in and around the mouth. These include cancers of the lips, tongue, mouth, sinuses, and throat. Like other cancers, oral cancer describes mutated cells that uncontrollably grow and divide instead of following cellular processes as outlined in your DNA.

What Are the Biggest Risk Factors?

The most significant risk factors that increase the chances of oral cancer are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, HPV virus, and sun exposure without lip protection. Lifestyle changes to cut back or eliminate these risks can mitigate the chances of oral cancer.

7 Most Significant Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

Albeit not complete, these warning signs are the ones that require attention and a visit to your oral care specialist.

  1. Having sores on the lips or mouth that persist and fail to heal within two weeks.
  2. Experiencing unexplained bleeding, numbness, or pain in the mouth
  3. Having a lump or thickening in the cheek
  4. Experiencing difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving the jaw or tongue
  5. Feeling numb or experiencing pain when biting down on the tongue
  6. Seeing white or red patches inside the mouth on the gums, tongue, or tonsils
  7. Feeling like something is constantly caught in your throat.

These symptoms indicate the need to schedule a screening right away. You can also expect an oral cancer screening as a routine part of your bi-annual dental appointment.

Is It Time for Your Oral Cancer Screening?

You can get oral cancer screenings as a part of your regular dental check-up or any time you’re experiencing any symptoms. To schedule your oral cancer screening, contact Dr. Tammy Kussman in Brentwood, TN. Call 615-346-3007 or contact us here to schedule an appointment.

Schedule An Appoinment

Fill out the form Or call us


01. Get to know Dr. Kussman & the team.

02. We will perform various tests for your oral health.

03. We will create a dental plan based on your individual needs.

"I can't express how much I LOVE Dr. Kussman and her team. I have had MAJOR dental work done all of my life and they make me feel relaxed and calm, despite all of my anxieties."

– Deana Cavanaugh, Actual Patient

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