Oral cancer symptoms, risk factors, and FAQs
Signs and symptoms
You should see your provider right away if you experience any of these common symptoms of oral cancer:
- A growth or lump inside your mouth
- A lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Mouth pain
- Ear pain
- Difficult or painful swallowing
Research has identified factors that may increase the risk of mouth cancer:
• Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff.
• Drinking alcohol heavily
• Sun exposure to your lips
• Human papillomavirus (HPV)
• A weakened immune system
Questions and answers (FAQs)
Yes, a dentist can identify the early signs of oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, many pre-cancers and oral cancers can be detected through routine screening exams by dentists, dental hygienists and even self-exams.
No, kissing cannot spread oral cancer. It is not contagious, so it cannot spread to another person through any means like kissing or sharing eating utensils.