Your palate is the roof of your mouth. The palate has two sections: the hard palate and the soft palate. The hard palate is the bony portion of the roof of your mouth that is located right behind your front teeth, while the soft palate is the squishy portion that is found further towards your throat. Either of these sections can develop cancer, so everyone needs to be aware of the possible warning signs of cancer of the palate. Here are five clues that you may have this type of cancer.
A sore on the roof of your mouth
The appearance of ulcers or open sores on the roof of your mouth may be a clue that you have palate cancer. These sores will be painful and, if you are able to see them, will appear either red or white. They may be filled with fluid-like blisters, or they may look like craters.
There are many non-cancerous things that can lead to the sores on the roof of your mouth, so you don't need to panic if you find a sore. Sores can be caused by everyday things like burning the roof of your mouth on a hot piece of pizza or a hot cup of coffee; they can also be canker sores, herpes sores, or a side effect of certain drugs. You need to be concerned if the sore hasn't healed on its own within 10 days. If a sore doesn't heal on its own, you need to see your dentist immediately for an examination.
A lump or bump on the roof of your mouth
If you have palate cancer, you may feel a lump or bump on the roof of your mouth when you touch it with your tongue. This lump may be asymptomatic, but it may also be painful. Lumps on the roof of your mouth may be cysts, sores, or other conditions, but they always need to be evaluated just in case they are cancerous.
Another clue that you may have palate cancer is that some of your upper teeth have become loose. This can happen if a cancerous growth on the roof of your mouth presses against your teeth and shifts them out of position. Loose teeth can have non-cancerous causes as well, like advanced gum disease, so your dentist will need to examine your mouth to let you know what is going on.
Dentures do not fit
If you no longer have any teeth, you may notice that the fit of your dentures has changed. The extra tissue that makes up the cancer may make your dentures feel too tight, and if the cancer is big enough, you may not be able to wear your dentures at all. Any fit issues should be reported to your dentist right away.
Everyone suffers from bad breath at one time or another, whether it is from overdoing the garlic and onions or from forgetting to brush and floss. This kind of intermittent bad breath is easily remedied with good oral hygiene, mouthwash, and maybe some mints, but if you have persistent bad breath, something more serious may be to blame.
If your breath always smells, and nothing you do makes any difference, you need to see your dentist right away. This is because persistent bad breath is an early sign of oral cancers such as palate cancer.
Since it's hard to take a look at your own palate, it can be easy to miss the signs of palate cancer. To keep yourself safe, make sure to stay alert for these five clues that you may have cancer on the roof of your mouth. If you notice any of these changes, make sure to see your dentist right away. If your dentist diagnoses you with palate cancer, you'll be referred to an oncologist, such as those at Cancer & Blood Specialists of Nevada, for further treatment.Share