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When you come in for a dental checkup, did you know you are getting checked for more than just cavities? In fact, many people do not realize that an oral cancer screening is part of every dental checkup. Having a dental checkup regularly, you are keeping your teeth and gums healthy, while doing your best to watch for other dangerous conditions like oral cancer as well.

Our dentist, Dr. Phuong Nguyen with Tacoma Washington Dentist in Fircrest, Washington, cares about your overall health and has provided you some material on identifying oral cancer early.

For starters, did you know oral cancer targets thousands of Americans each year? Well, it’s true! Oral cancer can thrive on the tongue, in the mouth, and even in the throat. Smoking or any form of tobacco use is generally linked to oral cancer. However, even people who have never used tobacco of any kind can still suffer from oral cancers devastating effects.

Here are some signs and symptoms of oral cancer to keep an eye out for:

  • Jaw Movement: Trouble or pain with chewing, talking, or moving your jaw can be an indicator.
  • Ear pain: Your jawbone is close to your ears, so ear pain could be a warning sign.
  • Numbness: Numbness in your tongue, mouth, or throat could be a tumor close to a nerve.
  • Sensitivity: An upsurge in sensitivity in your mouth and neck should be examined right away.
  • Bleeding: Unexplained bleeding can arise from your mouth, gums, or throat with oral cancer.
  • Dramatic weight loss: Dramatic weight loss is a hazard sign connected to various cancers.
  • Lumps and bumps: Any strange growths in your mouth need to be treated.
  • Spots or patches: Red or white spots could be an indicator of cancer or a severe infection.
  • Pain in the mouth or jaw: Unexplained pain in your smile could be caused by a tumor.
  • Change in your voice: If your voice changes after puberty or feels sore get examined quickly.
  • Inflammation: Swelling can occur from areas inside your mouth.
  • A sore throat: A stubborn sore throat could be a sign that should not be ignored.

If you have noticed any of these situations occurring to you, it’s imperative to seek professional help and treatment right away. Our dental team is fully trained to spot oral cancer during your checkup and is happy to help you keep your smile healthy.

Do you still have questions about your oral health? If so, then please call us today at to schedule an appointment with a professional member of our staff. We are always happy to help you keep your smile in top-notch health.