The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a smooth, coral pink skin called mucosa. Any alteration to the texture or color of the mucosa should not go unaddressed, as it could be a warning sign for a pathological process, including oral cancer. The following can be signs of cancerous growth and should be examined:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia)

  • Whitish patches (leukoplakia)

  • A sore that won’t heal and bleeds easily

  • A bump or mass on the skin lining the inside of the mouth

  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing normal foods

Cancer Cell

These changes may be seen on the lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. These signs are not always painful and do not always indicate oral cancer, but we recommend contacting the office if they appear, in addition to performing a monthly oral cancer self-examination. The mouth is one of the body’s most telling warning systems, and suspicious areas should not be ignored.