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The uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage to the neighboring tissue is called cancer. There are many types of cancer, manifesting in many different areas of the body. Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the tongue, lips, floor of the mouth, cheeks, and hard palate, can be life threatening if it is not found, diagnosed, and treated early.

The many symptoms of oral cancer include:

– Bleeding in the mouth for an unexplained reason
– Numbness, loss of feeling, tenderness, or pain in the face, mouth, neck, or ear that is unexplained
– A feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat or a soreness in that area
– Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, swallowing, or speaking
– Swelling, thickening, rough spots, or lumps on the lips, gums, or other areas inside of the mouth
– The appearance of velvety white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
– Chronic sore throat or a change in voice
– A change in your bite, or the way your teeth come together when you close your mouth
– Dramatic weight loss
– A lump in the neck
– An irritation or sore that doesn’t go away

If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a screening for oral cancer in Tulare, California, as soon as possible.

You may have a higher risk of oral cancer if you:

– Are male
– Are over 50
– Smoke
– Smoke marijuana
– Use smokeless tobacco, like snuff or chewing tobacco
– Consume an excessive amount of alcohol
– Have a family history of cancer
– Have had excessive sun exposure
– Have poor dietary habits

For more information about oral cancer and to schedule your next screening with Dr. James C. Ma, please contact our office today. Our dentist and team are excited to serve you!