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What is oral cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells that invade the surrounding tissue and damage them. Oral cancer can occur in the tongue, lips, floor of the mouth, cheeks, hard and soft palate, and throat. Oral cancer can be life-threatening if not detected and treated early.

What are the signs of oral cancer?
As early detection is important, we urge you to visit Pooley Dentistry if any of the following symptoms last for two weeks or more:

– Lumps, sores, or swellings in or around your throat or mouth
– The feeling that there is a lump or object stuck in your throat
– Swelling that makes wearing dentures or a removable bridge uncomfortable
– Pain in the ears
– Tenderness, pain, or numbness in the mouth or tongue
– Loose teeth without an explanation
– Trouble moving your tongue or jaw
– Issues with chewing, swallowing, or talking
– Persistent hoarseness or sore throat

Who is at risk for oral cancer?

– Men over 50 years old
– Smokers or users of smokeless tobacco products
– Excessive alcohol consumers
– Those with a family history of cancer
– Those with excessive exposure to the sun

How is oral cancer diagnosed?
During your regular dental checkups, Dr. Steven Pooley will perform an oral cancer screening. Your lips, mouth, and face will be checked for sores or discolored tissues. In addition, our dentist will feel for any lumps or irregular changes in your neck, face, had, and oral cavity. If a suspicious area is detected, a biopsy (examination of tissues) may be performed.

We encourage you to contact our dental office at 815-968-5434 today to learn more about screening for oral cancer in Loves Park, Illinois, and to set up your next dental cleaning appointment.