Must-Know Symptoms of Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer, also known as oral cavity cancer, can be found on the lips, gums, tongue, and other parts of the mouth. This cancer can be triggered by tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and HPV infection, but what are its signs and symptoms?

From loose teeth to ear pain, there are plenty of symptoms of mouth cancer to look out for. Some might even surprise you, including…

1. Lip or Mouth Sores That Don’t Heal

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One of the earliest signs of mouth cancer is a lip or mouth sore that seems to not want to heal. If a couple of weeks pass without a mouth ulcer healing, this is a serious sign of mouth cancer that should not be ignored.

Especially if the sore gets worse, visit your doctor immediately to assess the possibility of mouth cancer. These lesions can be painful and gradually become thicker, making it important to catch them early.

Along with these sores often comes pain within the mouth…

2. Mouth Pain

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If you’ve been feeling pain in your mouth that won’t go away, this can be a sign of mouth cancer. Typically, mouth cancer rarely causes pain in the early stages, making it extra important that you see your doctor if you’re experiencing oral pain.

Your mouth isn’t the only area that can experience pain with mouth cancer…

3. Ear Pain

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While this next symptom is rare, it’s important to look out for. The pain caused by mouth cancer may spread to the jaw and cheeks, causing a feeling of fullness in the ear. This is far from a pleasant feeling, making it crucial to get it checked out as soon as possible.

Mouth cancer can also make basic functions of the mouth difficult…

4. Difficulty Swallowing

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In oral cancer, patients often experience dysphagia, meaning it becomes harder for your body to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. Dysphagia is often linked to underlying diseases, such as oral cancer. If you’ve recently had trouble swallowing, this is a sign of mouth cancer that you should bring up to your doctor.

This next symptom is one of the more serious signs of mouth cancer…

5. Loose Teeth

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Your childhood isn’t the only time you may experience loose teeth. In fact, oral cancer patients can experience loose teeth in the later stages of cancer. This is a more unusual symptom, making it important that you have the condition investigated as soon as possible.

The next symptom of mouth cancer may come as a surprise to you…

6. Bad Breath

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If you’ve noticed that you’ve recently had persistent bad breath, you may need more than a breath mint. While persistent bad breath can be linked to numerous medical conditions, one of the possibilities is mouth cancer. Especially if your bad breath is combined with other symptoms, seek medical help for a potential diagnosis.

Mouth cancer can also cause noticeable symptoms in the jaw…

7. Swelling and Pain in the Jaw

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Jaw pain is can often be caused by the overlapping of oral cancer and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), or the imbalance of your jaw’s joints. While the pain can derive solely from oral cancer, it’s one of the more rare symptoms. If you experience this symptom, be sure to see your doctor, as it can be a sign of both oral cancer and TMJ.

The next sign of mouth cancer may cause you to think twice next time you have this symptom…

8. Sore Throat /

Along with difficulty swallowing, oral cancer patients may also experience a sore throat. While this may just be a typical sore throat, it can also be a sign that mouth cancer has spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Any cancer has the potential to spread to any other part of the body, making this a symptom that should not be ignored.

More often than not, mouth cancer can affect how you sound and not just how you feel…

9. Hoarse Voice /

A hoarse voice can be caused by a cold or sinus infection as well as using your voice too much, but it can also be triggered by more serious conditions, like mouth cancer. When mouth cancer spreads to your lymph nodes, it can cause hoarseness of a change in the voice.

If you notice hoarseness in your voice, see your healthcare provider right away, as mouth cancer can be found at a very early stage with this symptom.

The last sign of mouth cancer is one of the most common symptoms…

10. Bleeding in the Mouth

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Mouth bleeding can often be linked to oral cancer, but you shouldn’t immediately assume the worst. Bleeding from the mouth can also be caused by brushing or flossing. Still, it’s important to take it seriously, especially if you notice you have other symptoms of mouth cancer.


Celeb Facts - Celebs Who Struggled With Student Loans

  1. Author Cheryl Strayed has a best-selling memoir, "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," and was portrayed by Reese Witherspoon in the film. Before selling her memoir, she and her husband were $85,000 in credit card debt and still had student loans. She used a portion of the advance and paid off her debt.
  2. Before Kerry Washington became the ultimate fixer on the hit show Scandal, she sent her monthly loan checks like the average former student. There were no regrets, however. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Washington shared that she wouldn't have been able to get her education without them.
  3. While starring in hit movies, Actor Miles Teller was still paying off student loan debt from college. In an interview with Vulture, Teller said his business manager advised him the interest was so low, he didn't need to pay them off quickly. To decide if it's better to pay off your loans or invest, look at a student loan payoff versus investment calculator.
  4. Grey's Anatomy" star Kate Walsh struggled financially when younger. She worked at fast-food joints and attended the University of Arizona. She told Refinery29, I am a person who came out of college with... , just thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in debt. She finally paid her debts off at 37 when her acting career became successful.
  5. Don Draper was making bank as a fancy ad man, but the Mad Men actor, Jon Hamm, was 33 before paying off his student loans. I went to three universities in four years, Hamm told a crowd of students at a political rally. It wasn't until he started working regularly he could pay them down.

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