Six Potential Warning Signs Of Oral Cancer

These symptoms may be subtle, but should certainly never be ignored.

Oral cancers are on the rise. Despite the reduction in the  number of people smoking, there are other factors, such as the HPV virus, which mean that this matter should be taken seriously by everyone, including patients of The Clock Tower Dental Clinic.

Whilst it is still a relatively rare cancer, the fact that rates are increasing and that it can have serious consequences for your well-being and even result in death, means that you should remain aware.

The dentists at our Epsom practice routinely check for potential symptoms during your six monthly check ups, but also encourage you to contact us if you notice anything of concern between your appointments. We should stress, that, if we see anything that concerns us, we may refer you to your GP. A referral to your GP is purely precautionary but advisable – it does not mean that you have cancer but early checks are always sensible.

Below, are some of the symptoms that we look for. If you notice any of these between your appointments and would like us to check them, please don’t hesitate to call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic.

Mouth ulcers

Although not uncommon, if your mouth ulcers are sore and don’t heal within a few weeks, you should have this checked by our Epsom dentists.


If you have a persistent lump that is without obvious reason, this is a warning sign that there may be a problem.

Loose teeth

Although this can also be caused by periodontitis, it is also a potential sign of oral cancers. Both of these are serious issues that you should not ignore.


If your lips or tongue have a numb sensation on a persistent basis, this may be a potential symptom and should be checked.


Both red and white patches in the mouth should not be ignored. There may be other causes but these are also on the list of symptoms of oral cancers.


If you notice that you have started speaking with a lisp for no apparent reason, talk to our dental team about it so that we can diagnose if it might be caused by, for example, uneven teeth, or should be investigated further by your GP.

We don’t wish to cause alarm to our patients, but our duty is to keep your mouth and associated soft tissues as healthy as possible. Whilst oral cancers are not one of the most common, habits such as smoking and poor oral care do significantly increase the risk. Make sure that you have your mouth checked regularly at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom by calling us on 01372 720136.