Oral Cancer: 6 Symptoms You Should NOT Ignore

Call Us Today

New Patients: (520) 600-6925

Existing Patient: (520) 747-9024

Home » Oral Cancer: 6 Symptoms You Should NOT Ignore

When Dr. Taylor asks you to stick out your tongue so he can grab it with a piece of gauze and move it around, you might feel a little silly. But to Dr. William Taylor, there is nothing silly about what he is doing. He is checking for signs of oral or esophageal cancer. Given Dr. Taylor’s history, this part of your exam is very personal to him.

oral cancer 6 symptoms you should not ignore in Tucson AZ area

You see, Dr. Taylor’s mother died of esophageal cancer when Will was just 5 years old. He remembers that her main symptom when she was finally diagnosed was that she had trouble swallowing. Because her cancer wasn’t discovered until it had advanced to level 4-5, she only lived about a year after it was detected.

Sobering Statistics

43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral/esophageal cancer this year. Only slightly more than half of these patients will still be alive in five years. There will be 8,000 deaths from oral cancer this year. 90% of oral cancer is from squamous cell carcinoma. In our country, a person dies of oral cancer every hour of every day.


Most folks realize that smoking is a huge contributor to oral cancer. That very much includes any type of smokeless tobacco (chew, dip). Excessive alcohol consumption is another contributing factor. Folks who have ill-fitting dentures or other dental appliances should be aware that persistent irritation can also be a precursor to cancer.

The fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients are those infected with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). Most of these patients are young, otherwise healthy, people who don’t smoke.

6 Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Dr. Taylor and Dr. Martin check for signs of oral/esophageal cancer at every dental checkup. If you have any of these symptoms, have them checked out immediately.

  • Persistent white patches
  • Persistent red patches
  • Sores that don’t seem to heal
  • A lump or thickening of tissue in the mouth, throat, or neck
  • A chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing

Early Detection is Critical

In addition to regular visual checks, Drs. Martin and Taylor use a Velscope; an early cancer detection tool. Discovering any oral abnormalities early on offers more treatment options and can be lifesaving. The Velscope is a wireless, handheld scope that uses a florescent-type light to identify oral abnormalities early – often months or even years before they can be seen with the naked eye.

Are you looking for a great dentist?

Call for Appointment

You will love our Martin Taylor Dentistry office. You will also enjoy the special way we say thanks to every new patient.

Back to Blog Page

Martin Taylor Dentistry

Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor

Martin-Taylor Dentistry is a partnership between Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor. Highly skilled and experienced, they provide emergency, preventative, restorative, cosmetic, children’s, and implant dentistry services.

Dr. Martin is an alumnus of the University of Arizona and Baylor College of Dentistry. He established his practice in 1978. Dr. Martin has completed on 1,500 hours of continuing education in dentistry. Dr. Taylor studied at the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California. He is experienced in general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. Dr Taylor has also completed many hours of continuing education.
Both are licensed and skilled in sedation dentistry, so you can be as comfortable as possible.

Together with their excellent team, Martin-Taylor Dentistry will take great care of you.

Success Stories

Google Logo

Martin Taylor Dentistry

4.8 Based on 81 reviews
See all reviews | Write a review

Dr. Taylor, Dr. Martin, and their entire staff are the very best. The front desk staff, the dental assistants, and dental hygienists are excellent. I’ve been to many dentists over the years, and they are the most skilled and professional group of people that I have encountered. You can be confident you will be fully informed about what is recommended for a treatment plan and what it will cost. I’ve had the gamut of dental procedures — crowns, implants, root canals, and more routine care. It’s been made as pleasant and comfortable as possible by their skill, as well as their kindness and understanding. I wholeheartedly recommend Martin and Taylor Dentistry.

Alice L.

Alice L. 4 months ago

I have been a patient of Dr. Taylor’s for most of my adult hood. I have had everything done from a filling to multiple dental implants. All of my procedures have been straightforward with zero complications and as little discomfort as possible. Even after my implants I had minimal pain! Before I saw Dr. Taylor I was terrified of dentists, but he put me at ease with his expertise. The hygienists are kind, thorough but gentle, and knowledgeable. The office staff is very friendly and helpful. The office itself is modern and impeccably clean. I highly recommend Martin Tayler dentistry and won’t trust my teeth to any other dentists.

Rosemary B.

Rosemary B. 3 months ago

Welcome the newest member of our team at Martin Taylor Dentistry, Dr. Melvin Abraham!