Cancer is a deadly disease that’s caused by specific cells in the body reproducing uncontrollably, according to the NHS. These cancerous cells can destroy the healthy tissue surrounding them – including vital organs. More than a third of all people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. You could be at risk of mouth cancer if you notice your teeth feeling looser than normal, it’s been revealed.
Having a tooth, or teeth, that becomes loose for no obvious reason could be one of the earliest warning signs of mouth cancer, said the NHS.
The tooth socket may not properly heal, which could make the tooth feel loose, it said.
While a loose tooth could be caused by gum disease or an impact injury, it may be a sign to speak to a doctor.
“Mouth cancer can develop in most parts of the mouth, including the lips, gums and occasionally the throat,” it said.
“It may be on the surface of the tongue, the insides of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth [palate], or the lips or gums.
“The most common symptoms of mouth cancer are unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth that don’t go away.
Cancer symptoms: Signs of mouth tumour include having loose teeth (Image: GETTY Images)
“Other symptoms may include a tooth, or teeth, that becomes loose for no obvious reason, or a tooth socket that doesn’t heal.
“Many of the symptoms listed above can be caused by less serious conditions, such as minor infections.”
You could also be at risk of the disease if you notice sore mouth ulcers that don’t heal within several weeks, or if there are some small changes to your voice.
Difficulty moving your jaw, bleeding in the mouth also shouldn’t be ignored, warned the NHS.
Although these symptoms are unlikely to be caused by mouth cancer, it’s still a good idea to get them checked by a doctor, it said.
Cancer symptoms: A Mediterranean diet could lower your risk of mouth cancer (Image: GETTY Images)
Mouth cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer to be diagnosed in the world, but it’s less common in the UK.
Almost 7,000 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year in the UK – the equivalent to about two per cent of total cancer diagnoses.
You could lower your risk of mouth cancer symptoms by giving up smoking, if you’re a smoker, and cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink.
Everyone should avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol in a single week, it said.
Eating a Mediterranean-style diet could also help to reduce your chances of developing the cancer.