Learning about oral cancer can be frightening—but education leads to early detection, and early detection is key to a better diagnosis. Because oral cancer can develop anywhere inside your mouth, it can manifest in your jaw as well. Here, we’ll look at four jaw cancer symptoms (as well as symptoms that aren’t jaw cancer, such as TMJ disorders) to watch out for and what you can do to address them as early as possible.
Compared to other cancers, oral cancer is less common—according to the American Cancer Society, about 54,000 will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2021. Oral cancer also affects men twice as often as women, and the average age of diagnosis is 62. But let’s focus specifically on cancer of the jaw. According to the Merck Manual, jaw cancer can occur either on the upper jaw, known as the maxilla, or the lower jaw, known as the mandible. If you experience any of the following jaw cancer symptoms, be sure to seek an evaluation by your dental professional.